Network of mental health professionals to support frontline workers

Linda Breathnach

Linda Breathnach

A voluntary network of mental health professionals has been created to support frontline workers in Ireland during the Covid-19 crisis. Covid Cara was established by Linda Bhreathnach, the award-winning writer and director who recently graduated with a M.A. in Psychology.

Linda has been joined by Ellen Moran, M.A. in Psychology, Shauna Hill, M.A. in Psychology and Sinead Morley, M.A. in Psychology, and a growing network of mental health and wellbeing professionals who are offering their services on a voluntary basis to health workers and other frontline workers during the pandemic.

Covid Cara is a network of mental, emotional and spiritual care professionals who have offered to provide their services to support essential workers and their families, said Sinead Morley.

“It is a way to provide access to psychologists, counsellors, physiotherapists, nutrition experts and other therapists to people who are working on the frontlines during this pandemic and who need support,” said Linda Bhreathnach who added that “it is quite unique due to its multidisciplinary nature as well as how flexible it is as it is all offered online”.

As COVID-19 continues, the psychological, emotional, and spiritual toll on Ireland’s essential workers and their families also grows. Most essential workers lack adequate emotional and mental support, and many can feel isolated and even stigmatised for their contact with infected populations. Most families of essential workers are themselves unsupported and overwhelmed.

To address this growing crisis, Covid Cara is an emerging, self-organizing network of volunteer mental health professionals, spiritual care providers, stress-reduction experts, healers, and community-builders who have stepped up to support our essential workers and their families during this crisis.

The idea for the network came from a similar initiative in New York City, which has been at the coalface of the Covid-19 crisis in the United States of America for the past number of weeks.

“I sought guidance from the founders of ‘NYC Covid Care’ with a view to providing a similar service in Ireland and Covid Cara has grown from that,” said Linda Bhreathnach.

“We have had a great response from mental health professionals from a variety of disciplines, who are offering their services to help frontline workers” said Ellen Moran . Shauna Hill said that they are working to get the word out there so that frontline workers and their families know that this service is available to them”.

The team driving Covid Cara believe that all essential workers are on the frontlines of this crisis, because all essential workers are putting their bodies at risk.

We believe the families of these workers are also at risk and deserve our support. This includes workers in health care, grocery store workers, food production, public safety, the media, janitorial and sanitation, transportation, the energy sector, and emergency personnel, among others.

All individual support meetings happen by Zoom or telephone. Information on groups will be posted on the website as they become available.

To learn more about the network and how it is organised, contact [email protected] or visit the Covid Cara website at: https://covidcara.weebly.com/

 

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