New hotline provides emotional support for first responders, health care providers

A new hotline provides mental health support to health care workers, including those who clean hospitals, first responders, childcare providers and their families during the COVID-19 pandemic.

Hope4Healers is a partnership between the North Carolina Department of Health and Human Services and the North Carolina Psychological Foundation.

The hotline provides free 45- to 60-minute phone conversations with licensed mental health therapists.

Traci Van Deventer is a Wake County EMS paramedic and Central Coordinator for North Carolina Peer Support, which also has a hotline and provides support to local first responders.

She said Hope4Healers will be a great resource for first responders.

"We are seeing a lot of anxiety, fear, some sick people, but things that are reflecting the world that kind of can reflect back on us and we can take home and the scary part and the potentially unhealthy part of that is we can have it affect our mental health," Van Deventer said. "Not everyone is going to be affected but some people may be affected more than others."

Hope4Healers is staffing the hotline between 8 a.m. and 5 p.m. Monday through Friday.

The number is (919) 226-2002.

Martha Turner-Quest, Executive Director of the North Carolina Psychological Foundation said Hope4Healers is a voice messaging system.

When you call, you can leave a message and they'll get back to you. Expect to wait 48 hours to hear back, she said.

They're not staffed on weekends but do return calls.

North Carolina Peer Support has a hotline for first responders that is available seven days a week from 8 a.m. until 11 p.m. It's for first responders dealing with stress from the job or from home who want to connect with another first responder. The phone number is (855) 7NC-PEER.

RESOURCES

Hope4Healers

North Carolina Peer Support
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