DENVER (CBS4) – As the pandemic approaches the two-year mark, a Colorado organization is hoping it can get mental health assistance to health care workers. The All Clear Foundation is receiving nearly $2 Million from the U.S Department of Health and Human Services to reduce burnout and promote wellness.
“It’s the human behind the badge, the uniform and the scrubs that’s really suffering right now,” said Rhonda Kelly, the Executive Director of the All Clear Foundation. “Anxiety and depression are off the charts for our population over the past two years.”
Kelly started working to get more mental health help to first responders after she spent 17 years as a firefighter in Aurora. Now, the All Clear Foundation helps teach classes and educate instructors all over the country both in-person and online.
“In the past two years, with the pandemic, we have asked so much from health care workers and not only have we asked them to step up and work more we’ve asked them to put themselves at a greater level of personal risk,” she said. “A stress injury is not shameful. It is no different than a physical injury, and by the way, a stress injury is the most likely injury you’re going to sustain in your career.”
Classes focus on many different subjects including substance abuse, suicidality, burnout and compassion fatigue.
“We talk about how to recognize the signs and symptoms, how to intervene, and how to seek out help for yourself and others. and we also talk about resilience,” Kelly said. “Not only providing education and support tools, but also in providing culturally competent and trauma informed mental health care in those communities who frequently don’t have it. To better support our frontline health care workers and first responders.”
The $1,979,000 grant from the Health Resources and Services Administration will allow All Clear Foundation to spread its classes and resources to health care workers across the country with an emphasis in rural communities.