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COVID-19 Emotional Support Task Force

Updated: 4/7/2020

Your social worker, psychologist, and psychiatrist colleagues are launching a COVID-19 Emotional Support Task Force to support staff and providers across Kaleida Health, Optimum Physician Alliance (OPA), General Physician, PC, and UBMD Physician's Group, as they support our patients, families and colleagues.

Beginning Monday, April 6, the team is opening an Emotional Support Warmline, 859-2010, a service available to all staff and clinicians (including residents and fellows) during this current crisis. The Warmline will be answered by faculty psychiatrists from UBMD Psychiatry from 8 a.m.-8 p.m. throughout the week. If unable to immediately answer, our doctors will respond shortly. Our intent is to provide rapid access to mental health professionals to provide support for personal concerns related to the COVID-19 crisis. All calls will be treated confidentially. If additional mental health support is appropriate, the responding clinician will be able to provide rapid linkage to individual community mental health professionals who have volunteered to help, including all therapists at the Children's Psychiatry Clinic of Oishei Children's Hospital. This is a free service to all staff as part of our efforts to come together and support each other through this time.

In addition, the team will be providing brief resources 2-3 times per week on how to take a "Mindful Moment" to stay calm in the chaos and maintain your well-being while having to work in a difficult time and often differently than you may be used to. In this pandemic, we are being pulled in many directions, scattering our thoughts and emotions, and leaving many of us feeling stressed and anxious. Especially in this time, it is essential for our well-being to take a few minutes each day to empty our minds and find some much-needed calm. It is our hope that you will use some of these simple, brief exercises and build them into your daily routine to help calm anxiety and build coping skills in this time of extreme uncertainty. These are the kind of things you'd recommend to a friend or a loved one; if they're a good idea for them, you can certainly find a way to benefit from them, too. We also have an entire section dedicated to mental health resources here.

Today we are starting with a progressive muscle relaxation exercise from Dr. Beth Smith, Kaleida Health's chief of behavioral health. Take a Mindful Moment and try it before or after work, or even during a quick break!