Jewish Family Service of Buffalo & Erie County received a $75,000 grant from the Western New York COVID-19 Community Response Fund, which will help the nonprofit provide free and confidential telemental health services and other resources to people on the front lines of the pandemic.
These funds will provide services for the immediate 60 days, but may continue depending on the need, said Molly Carr, the executive director of Jewish Family Services.
"We would really like to get the word out to our medical community, the people who are on the front lines in the medical community, to let them know that we are here to help you through this,” she said. “You don't have to face the challenge of COVID-19, the crisis of COVID-19 alone."
Last Monday, April 27, a top emergency room doctor in Manhattan died by suicide.
Five days later, on May 1, Governor Andrew Cuomo directed New York state insurances to waive all mental health cost shares, co-pays and deductibles for essential workers during this crisis.
There’s a lot about physical health during the pandemic, but it’s important to talk about people’s mental health as well, Carr said.
More than four out of 10 U.S. adults feel that worry and stress related to the novel coronavirus have negatively impacted their mental health, according to a new poll by the Kaiser Family Foundation released on April 2, 2020.
"What we're providing is PPE for people's mental health,” Carr said. “There's three types of support that are really needed to help people through this, particularly our essential workers or frontline workers.
“There's preventative measures to help people cope. There's in the moment measures for example when people are feeling moments of crisis, and then there's treatment or counseling services, which is what we will be providing.”
The public can help by letting frontline medical workers know that these mental health services are available in the Western New York Community, Carr said.
To find out more about these services, click here or call 716-883-1914.