Emotional PPE Project connecting medical workers with mental health professionals

Posted at 4:18 PM, Aug 21, 2020

Therapists are volunteering their time to help health care workers during the coronavirus pandemic.

A nonprofit called The Emotional PPE Project is connecting medical workers in need with licensed mental health professionals. They can contact each other directly.

“We think that's actually very important, because there are so many barriers to people receiving help, one of them being concerns about licensing implications or concerns about stigma,” said Dr. Daniel Saddawi-Konefka, Board Director and Co-Founder of The Emotional PPE Project.

Saddawi-Konefka says it started with a simple text from his neuroscientist neighbor in March, saying “what can I do to help?”

Together, the two of them created the online directory for volunteer therapists.

While others were talking about ventilator and PPE shortages, Saddawi-Konefka realized resilience would be a crucial problem.

“Health care workers, they experience higher levels of burnout, higher levels of depression, and despite that are less good at asking for helping, are less good at reaching out for help,” said Saddawi-Konefka.

The group hopes to keep the program alive through the pandemic. They're hoping to work with the volunteer therapists for future plans.