As the coronavirus pandemic continues to take its toll on the Garden State, mental health professionals in North Jersey are extending a hand to those on the front lines.
CBH Care, a community-based mental and behavioral health services nonprofit, launched an initiative to offer telehealth counseling services to essential workers battling the coronavirus pandemic firsthand. It's at least the second example this week in Bergen County of health care providers giving back to those on the front lines.
The CBH Care service will be available to nurses, doctors and emergency responders, to essential retail employees, and to postal and sanitation workers, said Sue Devlin, CBH Care’s executive director.
“The reality is I don’t think any of us are going to come out of this unchanged in some way,” said Devlin. “It’s exhausting for folks to hear this information day in and day out, but you look at those frontline people that are in those hospitals, it looks like a war zone.”
Bergen County has been at the epicenter of the pandemic in New Jersey since the state’s first reported case in March. The virus has since spread across the region at an alarming rate, ravaging local hospitals, families and communities. There have been more than 7,500 COVID-19 deaths reported statewide.
“At the end of the day, we’re hoping that [frontline workers] understand that there are people out here that want to help them get through this,” Devlin said.
CBH Care offers services in Bergen, Morris and Hudson counties, and has nearly 450 employees on staff. The organization offers a range of services, including a family support service for relatives of those seeking the nonprofit's care, Devlin said.
The service is at least the second mental health program that has been created in an effort to assist those on the front line of the pandemic. Care Plus NJ in Paramus said it will launch a mental health HERO warmline for Bergen county first responders, law enforcement and health care professionals.
“We recognized an enormous need to support these individuals in order to help them process their emotions, cope with trauma and connect them to rapid access support and services through CarePlus so they can prioritize their own health and wellness and continue to help others in the community," Amie Del Sordo, Care Plus NJ's senior vice president of hospital and community services, said in a statement.
CBH Care previously had not offered teleheath services for clients, but has been forced to adapt as the pandemic prevents face-to-face interactions between clients. The nonprofit has remained open since the start of the pandemic, Devlin said. She anticipates in coming weeks to get calls from people seeking mental health services for the first time.
"I hope if the need is there on their end, that we’re here on the other end to help take care of them," Devlin said. "Maybe given the broad scope — the fact that it’s a global issue — I’m hoping that in some ways will break down some of those stigma barriers."
"I’m hoping that will allow those people who may have been on the fence about reaching out [to] take the courageous leap and make the phone call," Devlinsaid.
Anyone interested in CBH Care's service can call their wellness and support center at 201-957-1800 at all hours and daily. Callers will be connected to a licensed professional and telehealth appointments can be scheduled within 24 hours.
The Care Plus line opens Monday. It will remain open weekdays, from 9 a.m. to 8 p.m., and can be reached at 1-551-800-HERO (4376).
Original story: https://www.northjersey.com/story/news/coronavirus/2020/05/04/nj-coronavirus-mental-health-providers-want-help-essential-workers/3063778001/?fbclid=IwAR3bOvqXoSdgX43SpVFWRz0KdsF388XShPu7xcKhrquzlfWdSPKWnCdrswE