Professionals offer free mental health counseling to front-line workers
The National Association of Social Workers (NASW) has partnered with Give an Hour to recruit licensed social workers for Give an Hour’s new Hospital Heroes Program, offering free mental health counseling to hospital workers on the front lines of the Coronavirus Disease (COVID-19) pandemic and their families.
“Physicians, nurses, social workers and hospital support staff are dealing with a public health crisis not seen since the 1918 flu pandemic yet are providing compassionate, top notch care in extremely trying circumstances,” said NASW CEO Angelo McClain, PhD, LICSW. “NASW is proud to partner with Give an Hour on a program that will give these heroes the emotional support they need to do their lifesaving work.”
Last month, Give an Hour opened its network of 4,500 licensed mental health professionals to offer six sessions of no-cost mental health counseling to essential hospital personnel – both clinical and non-clinical support staff – and their loved ones in New York, New Jersey, and Connecticut. If more than six sessions are needed, volunteer providers may bill through insurance or a sliding scale.
Because more than 700,000 hospital staff will qualify in the three-state area, Give an Hour reached out to its longstanding partner, NASW, to recruit additional volunteer professionals who are licensed to provide mental health services in the three states.
“Social workers have always come forward to volunteer with Give an Hour, and in fact, account for the majority of our existing mental health network providers,” said Give an Hour CEO Dr. Randy Phelps. “In these trying times we are confident even more social workers will come forward to help hospital workers at the epicenter of the nation’s COVID-19 pandemic.”
Temporary licensure regulations currently allow licensed social workers from other states to assist in New York, New Jersey, and Connecticut. But licensing regulations are changing, so Give an Hour is primarily looking for social workers already licensed in each of the three states.
Social workers from outside New Jersey who wish to volunteer there must file a temporary practice registration form online. They should do so as soon as possible.
“The need for mental health services in the United States has risen dramatically as more people are struggling to cope with stress, anxiety and depression. This need for more mental health support includes people on the front lines of the pandemic who are dedicated to caring for others,” McClain said. “We are proud to work with Give an Hour to find social workers who can support them as they continue their important work.”
If you are interested in volunteering or are a hospital worker seeking service go to giveanhour.org.