Jacksonville hospital to expand services to support healthcare workers during pandemic

Mental help for the frontlines

JACKSONVILLE, Fla. — Baptist Health is expanding its services to help support healthcare workers on the frontline of the coronavirus.

Baptist Health Psychologist Rujvi Kamat says May is the month to find a piece of joy.

Kamat told Action News Jax Baptist Health is offering the following for workers on the front-line.

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  • Spiritual care which provided daily motivational announcements.
  • 24-hour peer to peer drop-in chat sessions on Zoom that offers a list of different resources of what is available in the community.
  • 24/7 hotline for workers to get immediate access to psychologists.

Out on the frontlines are men and women in scrubs.

Many of them are working long hours and facing the challenges of a pandemic for the first time.

“For some of them it’s the first time that they’re encountering these sorts of resources and behavioral health services,” Psychologist Rujvi Kamat said.

Kamat works at Baptist Health. She says her staff is trying to encourage positive self-talk among workers as they go through these difficult times.

“Looking at the literature from prior epidemics, certain key concerns come up, first one being uncertainty not knowing how severe the pandemic is going to be and how Florida will be affected,” said Kamat.

Kamat says it’s important that healthcare workers’ mental health is not neglected as the road to recovery is just beginning.

Baptist Health is offering many different resources and services for workers including spiritual advisors, peer to peer chat sessions and a 24-hour hotline.

“It speaks to the importance of building resilience and taking care of our psychological needs so that we can take care of others,” Kamat explained.

The same stress and struggles are felt at local hospitals across Northeast Florida.

Kamat says May is the month to find a piece of joy because the coronavirus can weigh heavily on these professionals.

May is Mental Health Awareness Month.