Burden of the pandemic impacting essential workers; free or low cost therapy available

“For those who are essential workers and have that extra burden on them right now, it’s just a huge pile-up and it’s adding up”
Updated: Oct. 22, 2020 at 10:16 PM CDT
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AMARILLO, Texas (KFDA) - Therapist say they are seeing an increase in the need for mental health assistance for essential workers as the pandemic continues.

To help combat this issue, one therapist has started a nonprofit, providing free or low-cost therapy for all essential workers around the country.

Jennifer Silacci, the founder of Therapy Aid Coalition says when COVID-19 first hit, many were running off of adrenaline with the mindset to just get through the pandemic, not knowing it would last this long.

Now, she is seeing a lot of burnout because of it.

“Mental health at this particular time is extremely crucial. I think that we are having a mental health crisis in America right now. For those who are essential workers and have that extra burden on them right now, it’s just a huge pile-up and it’s adding up,” said Silacci.

As COVID-19 cases continue to grow in Amarillo, the burden is adding up for health care workers.

“Stress is wondering if we have COVID and you go home thinking about that. Stress is also whether or not your coworkers or your employees test positive for COVID, so of course this will leave more stress to the clinic,” said Elisa Flores, nurse practitioner, Care Express.

Treating more patients and running more tests than in the past, Flores and her staff are feeling the stress daily.

“Now, 35 percent of our patients are COVID positive. Sometimes you go home thinking ‘did I do the right thing for this patient’ or you worry about the outcome of a patient,” said Flores.

Therapy Aid Coalition was created to help with this issue.

The nonprofit consists of volunteer therapist in each state willing to help essential workers.

“Right now we have an opportunity to move from post traumatic stress to post traumatic growth, so if we can be of service, then we can support people, so that they don’t have to move into a space of post traumatic stress,” said Silacci.

Therapy Aid Coalition is available for any essential worker from the doctor working in the ICU to the gas station attendant.

Silacci says now she is seeing a mental health need in therapists and teachers the most.

Help can be found at the Therapist Aid Coalition website.

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