COVID first responders are experiencing a toxic combination of depression, anxiety and hopelessness that threatens not just their own lives but the lives of the Americans they serve.
It all became too much for two frontline workers – a medic in Brooklyn and a doctor in New York City – who have committed suicide in recent weeks.
Depression alone causes 490 million disability days from work each year in the U.S. But depression among these essential workers poses a real danger to society if critical patients who require 1:1 care outnumber staff due to call-outs.
We desperately need these heroes to keep showing up and they need our support to keep doing that. A “thank you” can go a long way. That’s where HonorAndThank.com comes in.
It’s a platform created by Kathleen Kilmer, founder of EasyEventPlanning.com. It gives every American a way to send a text, video or image message of encouragement and gratitude to staff in local facilities or across the entire country.
Anyone can sign up for email alerts to know when new messages are received. It allows healthcare workers to tap into that support right at the moment when they need it most.
The response from healthcare workers who have read messages on their facility’s page is exactly what Kilmer was hoping for. “
It’s really nice when people will take a minute out of their day, during their own trying times, to say a kind word. Often reflecting on those words can be all that we nurses need to get us out of a tough spot.” says Andy Slavetskas, a nurse in Upstate NY.
“Let’s be clear. This isn’t just a sweet gesture” says Kilmer. “If we don’t start – loudly, in big numbers – supporting these healthcare workers, our entire healthcare system can become compromised. Think of what we’re asking of them. They could die. Their child or spouse could die. Too many have lost beloved coworkers. They witness unimaginable terror in people’s eyes. They hold hands of dying patients cruelly robbed of their family’s love at the end. They see more death in a week than many have in their entire careers. How many of us could keep working through that with no end in sight?”
It’s great that New York City claps every night for 2 minutes. But that leaves 1438 minutes a day of deafening silence that can sink people into despair. And what about workers in 19,000 other cities across the US?
HonorAndThank.com provides that critical on-demand support 24/7 but we all have to do our part to make it happen. It can take two minutes to save a life.