TENNESSEE, USA — Tennessee’s healthcare workers and first responders who are on the frontlines of the COVID-19 pandemic response have a new resource to reach out to about feelings of stress, anxiety, sadness or depression related to work.
The COVID-19 Emotional Support Line for healthcare workers is now available to call at 888-642-7886, according to the governor's office.
The line will be available from 6 a.m. to 10 p.m. every day.
Specially trained mental health professionals who answer calls through the line can provide emotional support through active listening, help callers identify and address basic needs, and reference tools for managing stress and making a plan for self-care.
State officials stress the emotional support line cannot offer mental health treatment and is not intended to replace mental health crisis or suicide prevention services. The TDMHSAS Statewide Crisis Line is always available at 855-274-7471 or by texting “TN” to 741-741.
Mental health professionals who are interested in volunteering can visit this link on the MHART website to submit their information.
“When volunteering is made simple and the volunteers’ skills are valued, not only is the community benefiting from skilled volunteers, but the volunteers are benefiting as well. We believe connecting healthcare workers and first responders to skilled volunteers will help reduce the effects of prolonged stress, such as depression, substance use disorders, and post traumatic stress disorders," said Lizzie Harrigan, LCSW, Chairperson MHART.
The support line is a collaborative project among the Mental Health Active Response Team, the Tennessee Association of Alcohol, Drug, & other Addictions Services, National Association of Social Workers-TN Chapter, and the Tennessee Department of Mental Health and Substance Abuse Services.