| Dear friends and colleagues, |
I hope this note finds you well. The COVID-19 outbreak has created many challenges in our communities. I am grateful to work with partners like you to be able to offer support to local residents during this time. We wanted to share two resources with your office we think will be helpful to your constituents during this time.
| One area of need we have identified, sadly, is counseling support for families who have suffered a loss due to COVID-19. Working with our Red Cross mental health, health, and spiritual care teams across New York State, we have launched a virtual Family Assistance Center. The virtual Family Assistance Center will link families to crisis counselors who will provide emotional and spiritual support, as well as information and referrals to help them navigate the challenging process they might be facing as a result of their loved one’s death. All Family Assistance Center support will be provided virtually and is completely confidential. Families who have lost loved ones to COVID-19 can fill out an online intake form, and a Family Assistance Center volunteer will contact them:|
English: www.redcross.org/NYSCOVIDFamilySupport Spanish: www.redcross.org/NYSCOVIDApoyoFamiliar
|Intake forms can also be filled out by a friend who thinks someone needs help, or by a government office, like yours, working on behalf of the family. Those without online capabilities may call 585-957-8187, and a volunteer will assist them with the initial intake process. The Family Assistance Center is expected to operate for as long as families will benefit from the service. A second area of need we have identified is the need to provide emotional support to all healthcare workers. Healthcare workers in all positions are facing incredible stress and trauma. Working with Dr. James Halpern, Red Cross Disaster Mental Health volunteer, we have produced a webinar to help healthcare workers, Recognizing and Managing Stress for Health Care Workers in a Public Health Emergency. Dr. Halpern is a renowned expert on mental health during disasters. He is the author of several books on the subject including, Disaster Mental Health Case Studies: Lessons Learned From Counseling in Chaos (March, 2019).|
| I would greatly appreciate if you could share the information on the Family Assistance Center and the healthcare workers video through your network and with your constituents and the families you serve in New York. I have attached a flyer that provides a description of the Family Assistance Center program as well as the contact information I listed above. This is the link to the video webinar for healthcare workers: https://www.youtube.com/watch? BLJhuqZc&feature=youtu.be |
Thank you for all that you are doing to support New Yorkers during this time. We are all in this together and we hope this Family Assistance Center and mental health video will help provide comfort and support to families during this difficult time.
Interim Regional CEO
Greater New York Region