CarePoint Health is unveiled a new mental health program for front line workers and first responders, with Jersey City on board as their launch partner.
The Jersey City Health Department will offer the service to city police officers, firefighters, EMTs and other frontline workers free of charge. CarePoint hopes to be able to provide MindLine service to all Hudson County first responders as the program scales.
“I am immensely proud to bring MindLine and the mental health resources it will provide to the first responders and healthcare professionals in Hudson County who have been on the front lines of the pandemic since it began over three years ago,” CarePoint Health President and CEO Achintya Moulick said in a statement.
“These individuals have dedicated their lives to caring for others, and it is our duty to prioritize their health and well-being as they continue to serve our communities. Partnering with Mayor Steven Fulop and the Jersey City Health Department will allow us to expand our reach and the positive impact we can make, and CarePoint is honored to be part of the effort to support those who selflessly serve others.”
The COVID-19 pandemic has put an enormous strain on the healthcare system, and those on the front lines have often been forced to bear the brunt of the stressors that come with working in a high-pressure environment.
MindLine is a service that is specifically tailored to the needs of first responders, providing them with the support they need to cope with the challenges they face and is designed to support workers who have been challenged with, not only the hazards of the pandemic, but also the stressors that are native to the healthcare industry.
“We work to give our police officers and firefighters the best tools, training, and tactics they need to protect themselves and the public, and the MindLine program builds upon those efforts by helping our emergency responders address their overall mental health and wellness,” noted Mayor Steven Fulop.
“The recent increase in awareness and treatment surrounding mental health is long overdue, especially for our first responders who experience unique stressors at work. So, I’m grateful Jersey City’s finest and bravest will have a safe outlet to get the help they need.”
The service will be a vehicle to combat the front line worker mental health crisis and burnout and is meant to be a dedicated portal for those in the industry’s well-being; providing anonymous advice, care navigation, general counseling, or simply an ear that understands the challenges they face in today’s world.
Opportunities for telepsychiatry, psychotherapy, primary care, and more will also be available with no charge for initial visits and the convenience of anonymous care.
“The global pandemic has exacerbated the immense pressure and trauma that first responders can face on a daily basis, leading to unprecedented levels of stress and burnout. I firmly believe that MindLine is not just important, it’s essential,” added Assemblyman Raj Mukherji (D-33).
“As we continue to emerge from the pandemic, examining the readiness and well-being of our healthcare and front line workforce is crucial. Partnering with CarePoint as it launches MindLine is one more step towards providing the necessary care and support that front line workers and first responders deserve,” stated Health and Human Services Director Stacey Flanagan.
Since the pandemic, there has been a palpable mental health crisis apparent in the industry, with some studies remarking that half of healthcare workers are experiencing at least one mental health condition, with depression and anxiety leading, followed by PTSD and suicidality.
To that end, nurses are twice as likely to suffer depression than the general population and have a higher rate of suicide, more police and firefighters died of suicide last year than in the line of duty, and 67% of physicians have been found as having mild to severe PTSD symptoms with 46% displaying mild to severe depressive symptoms.