Amarillo hospitals offer support to employees as COVID-19 cases continue to rise

Published: Aug. 2, 2021 at 8:44 PM CDT
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AMARILLO, Texas (KFDA) - Healthcare workers on the front lines continue to deal with burnout and other mental health problems as COVID-19 cases are rising.

According to Harvard Business Review, almost 60 percent of employees have never spoken to anyone at work about their mental health status.

BSA and Northwest Texas Health Care System (NWTHS) now have peer to peer support groups to help employees through tough times.

H.O.P.E., Helping Our People Endure, is a confidential, peer-to-peer support resource available for BSA employees who are experiencing hard times.

The Second Victim’s team is a similar program that started at the beginning of the year for NWTHS employees.

COVID-19 is what sparked the idea behind both of these programs.

“The last year and a half has been really hard on everybody and those of us in healthcare are taking care of everybody’s most important everyone and so I think it’s important for us to have a platform and mechanism in place for us to take care of each other too,” said H.O.P.E. partner Chad Simpson, RPh, MBA.

Tami Carroll, Lead H.O.P.E. Partner said many times healthcare workers are always taking care of others, but often forget to take care of themselves.

“There’s been a need for better support within the healthcare systems for years. It’s a high stress type of environment to work in and it takes a lot of emotional energy to work in healthcare because the whole world that we’re in is helping people who aren’t doing well in some ways, so a lot of care giving and giving of our heart and souls as well as the physical care that we give,” said Carroll.

NWTHS says the response since they started the program has been positive and many employees have benefited from the resource.

“Once people are able to kind of really let down their wall and what they’re going through they’re able to really connect and realize they still have value here they still have meaning even if they’ve gone through something traumatic,” said Jeff Pugh, NWTHS chaplain.

The H.O.P.E. program says in just the two weeks since the program started they have already had many people use the resource.

They believe programs like these help destigmatize the idea behind asking for mental health help.

“Our mental health is every bit of important as our physical health and we need to be okay with expressing where there is a need for some support,” said Carroll.

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