zd-pixel Texas Frontline Workers Get Help After So Tirelessly Giving It to Others - healthecareers.com

Looking for a new job?

Texas Frontline Workers Get Help After So Tirelessly Giving It to Others

By Stephanie Stephens On Aug 12, 2022
Hand choosing happy smile face paper cut

With so many of its healthcare professionals citing ongoing challenges such as depression, stress, burnout, and more, Texas has help with a free and confidential Heroes Helpline.

Approximately one in five healthcare workers have quit their jobs due to COVID-19, so initiatives such as the helpline could help stem the tide of staff resignations in Texas.

Originally started in early 2020, the project is an initiative of The University of Texas Health Science Center at Houston (UTHealth Houston). Healthcare workers age 18+ can take advantage of the free service at 833-EMS-INTX or 833-367-4589, even though the program’s initial iteration was only available to active or retired first responders.

The phone call involves a brief screening and referral intervention, during which treatment options can be shared and callers connected to resources appropriate for their situation. Peer Support Recovery Specialists can also follow up with the caller, and social services opportunities may also be discussed, such as help with housing, transportation, and employment, says UT Health.

There’s also a virtual chat experience, entered via a virtual lobby, and available during 8 a.m. to 5 p.m. business hours, Monday through Friday.

UT is not alone in supporting the project, as they were joined by the Office of Emergency Medical Services at the Texas Department of State Health Services. A team of researchers directed by James Langabeer, PhD, EMT, accumulates secure data about substance abuse that will help determine how best to treat it, says UT Health.

He told KHOU-11 that, “Because there’s a lot of pride, there’s a lot of other factors in those professions, it makes it very difficult for people to want to seek treatment on their own.”

For first responders wanting to know more about substance abuse and mental health disorders—they encounter many patients and sometimes colleagues with both challenges—an online catalog course can be accessed, with one continuing education credit.

Much has been written and said about the intense and unrelenting pressure healthcare staff have experienced. As the National Alliance on Mental Illness shares, healthcare workers should ask for help if they:

  • feel irritable, angry, anxious, depressed, lonely. or constantly sad
  • relive traumatic events
  • isolate themselves and distrust others
  • experience compassion fatigue, burnout, or moral injury
  • sleep too little or too much
  • develop physiological problems or can’t think clearly, or have memory problems

Meeting healthcare workers where they are with mental health and substance abuse problems helps ensure better retention, both now and in the future.

Share:

CONNECT WITH US
SEARCH ARTICLES
BROWSE BY TOPIC
SIGN UP FOR NEWSLETTERS