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MINDPATH CARE CENTERS

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Mind Care A Priority in a Time of Pandemic

A Message from the MindPath Staff

The global COVID-19 pandemic has disrupted all of our lives, causing people to feel grief, trauma, anxiety, and other difficult emotions. During this unprecedented time of uncertainty, loss, and isolation, mental health care is more important than ever before. Recognizing that our community needs all available resources to effectively combat this crisis, we at MindPath Care Centers have adapted in order to help you, your family, friends and co-workers cope and stay healthy during this time. The team at MindPath is working diligently to keep our patients safe and continue to deliver quality mental and behavioral health. To do this, we rapidly expanded our existing telehealth platform to provide more psychiatric and therapy services to be accessible for both current and new patients. As people continue to self-isolate and socially distance, we know that mind care needs to be accessible via our home spaces now more than ever before. Now people all over NC can access any of MindPath’s providers for therapy or medication management needs via their computer, smartphone or tablet.

In accordance with CDC guidelines we implemented frequent and thorough hand-washing, strict infection control protocols and the use of face masks. In addition, we developed a special COVID-19 preparedness plan and asked all employees who are able to do so to work from home. We know that this pandemic continues to change and are giving this our upmost attention, preparing to adjust as needed.

We also created a new webpage filled with content from our providers on Mindcare Resources During COVID-19, which you can visit at mindpathcare.com/resources-covid-19. Through articles, videos and short tips, our providers offer expert guidance on how you and your loved ones can care for your mental health and well-being during this crisis. You will find content that addresses specific communities as well, including parents, seniors, college students and those recovering from addiction.
At MindPath Care Centers we are also working hard to provide mind care resources for health care workers in particular, as we know they are bearing an enormous additional weight during this time. Durham psychiatrist Yvonne Monroe, MD, offers the following thoughts on our health care workers, on why they’re vulnerable and how we can support them.

Health Care Workers—
They (Especially) Need Care and Support

By Yvonne Monroe, MD

Heath care workers are some of the most vulnerable people during this crisis, which includes our first responders and the professionals in the ER and the ICU. Because myriad medical problems caused by COVID-19 were not known until April and because of inadequate quantities of available tests, these health care workers have not known who is ill and what to expect next.

First responders work in unstable conditions, increasing their stress levels and risk of infection. They see intense emotion and feel the shock of premature deaths.

Hospital staff evaluate the presenting symptoms, help families say goodbye, and try to save lives with mainly supportive measures. Frequently during treatment, another life-threatening problem emerges. In addition, hospital staff act as surrogate family members in the ICU, sometimes giving comfort as a patient dies.

With amazing teamwork, the medical, nursing, and respiratory therapists have navigated this global health crisis with many twists and turns. They are used to being knowledgeable and in control as they competently treat our loved ones. We recognize the difficulty of treating this virus with so much unknown and changing, and we greatly respect the work of all health care providers.

To help support health care workers in caring for themselves during this time, I’ll offer some suggestions. To calm the adrenaline during this war on COVID-19, you can practice relaxation techniques, such as deep diaphragmatic breathing, progressive muscular relaxation, guided visual imagery or meditation. Simply closing your eyes and breathing more deeply for ten minutes is effective. If disturbing images occur, keep your eyes open. When disturbing or neutral thoughts come to mind, try to simply notice them and re-focus on your breathing. Try to cry. A relevant app with COVID-19 content is entitled, Let’s Meditate: Sleep & Guided Imagery.
Of course, taking care of oneself with enough food, sleep, and communication with family and friends is vitally important. Please let colleagues know when you see them hurting and in need of more self-care. Likewise, let your own support structure know when you need more help from them. 

Recognize that the extreme stress may lead to severe insomnia.  Others may experience feelings of panic which deep, slow breathing can help to ameliorate.

If you are feeling traumatized, please seek professional care as soon as possible. There is a small window for exposure therapy via tele-psychiatry or in-office care to prevent Post-traumatic stress disorder.

Stay well, everyone. Remember that you are not alone. We are here to help. For more information on our services and locations, including our telehealth program, please visit mindpathcare.com.