Health First Offers Free COVID-19 Stress Support Line During Coronavirus Threat
By Space Coast Daily // April 21, 2020
Service is Available to the Community Free of Charge, Seven Days a Week
Health First’s Senior Behavioral Wellness team is here to support and give helpful advice through the COVID-19 Stress Support Line
BREVARD COUNTY, FLORIDA – At any given time, life might not go according to plan. A variety of unexpected changes can happen, especially with the COVID-19 pandemic that’s causing stress and anxiety.
However, enduring this uncertainty alone isn’t your only option. Health First’s Senior Behavioral Wellness team is here to support and give helpful advice through the COVID-19 Stress Support line.
It’s an idea that came to DeAnn Collins one morning while engaging in her daily prayer and mindfulness practices.
“My initial question that I asked myself, ‘What is something that the Senior Behavioral Wellness team can do to support the IDN (Integrated Delivery Network) as a whole that plays to our strengths?’ ” said Collins, a Licensed Clinical Social Worker and Program Manager at Health First’s Senior Behavioral Wellness Intensive Outpatient program.
“One thing that my team is experienced with from working at Senior Behavioral Wellness for the past five years is how to deal with stress and unexpected changes – to many individuals these are often perceived as a crisis.”
The goal is to help connect with others through whatever means are available, such as a support line, that can help individuals feel less isolated and alone, which can be symptoms of depression.
The support line is open seven days a week from 8:30 a.m. to 4:30 p.m. and is managed by four Licensed Clinical Social Workers who have more than 20 years of crisis and support experienced combined.
“Our goal is to help people feel less hopeless, and that can happen when they have the right kind of support,” Collins said. “Someone who is feeling stressed about the current situation or is feeling isolated due to the physical distancing order can call and talk to a reassuring counselor or associate.”
The support line counselors can also provide callers with tools for improving their mood and strategies to help manage symptoms of anxiety and improve disturbed sleep.
One such tool that will be utilized is the MyStrength application. Health First recently teamed up with Livongo, a healthy living platform, to offer a support line that provides people with a safe, supportive place to call during the crisis.
Livongo is also pitching in with stress relief efforts by offering free access to MyStrength, a website tool that can be used as an additional option for support and resources.
“Talking about a challenge or issue that you might be having can also help some individuals to identify solutions to a solvable problem or to come to a place of acceptance when the situation isn’t something that can be controlled or changed, such as the current COVID-19 situation,” Collins said.
Associates and members of the community can call the COVID-19 Stress Support line by dialing 321-434-7700 or visit MyStrength for additional help.
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