Digital Original: LR psychiatrist creates free frontlines counseling hotline in wake of COVID-19

Digital Originals

LITTLE ROCK, Ark. — Health care workers on the frontlines are being called heroes for their bravery as they work by helping to stop the spread of COVID-19, but the reality is, they too are human.

Dr. Abeer Washington is a psychiatrist at Rice Clinic in Little Rock. She had an idea of a counseling hotline for those working on the frontlines, like doctors, nurses but also people like your local grocery clerk.

Dr. Abeer Washington helped to start the new counseling hotline for people working on the frontlines.

She says as a mental health doctor it’s important to understand there are all types of people working on the frontlines who continue serving their local communities in wake of COVID-19.

“There are people at the grocery store who are anxious and they work there and they are available for us. People in retail. People at restaurants. Anyone who has to be there to service all of our needs and doesn’t have a choice they don’t have the option to work from home,” she says.  

A survey from the American Psychiatric Association shows that 36% of Americans believe coronavirus is having a serious impact on their mental health and 59% saying it is having a serious impact on their everyday lives.

Washington, along with her colleagues, are working rotating shifts 24/7 to be available for frontline workers.

She believes it’s her duty to help those who continue serving their local community in the wake of COVID-19.

“We are here if they need us,” she says. “They may not have called yet but they know we are here and just a phone call away.”

In addition, the National Institute of Mental Health offers free mental health services for all general inquiries not pertaining to COVID-19, click here for those mental health services.

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