Northwell Health launches mental health center for employees, community

New Hyde Park, N.Y.-based Northwell Health has established the virtual Center for Traumatic Stress, Resilience and Recovery to address mental health needs of its 76,000 employees, their families and community members, the health system said April 14.

The news comes as healthcare workers across the U.S. have grappled with trauma, grief and loss during the COVID-19 pandemic. Clinicians trained in the treatment of trauma-related conditions and symptoms, such as post-traumatic stress disorder, anxiety and depression, will run the center from various sites throughout Northwell. Mayer Bellehsen, PhD, a clinical psychologist, will lead the center. 

"While our healthcare workers embody strength and resilience, the persistent stress caused by the pandemic can take a toll on anyone," Dr. Bellehsen said in a news release. "Northwell is pioneering in the establishment of the CTSRR to enhance resilience among employees and to address the traumatic stress caused by COVID-19. We want to make sure that our team members have the resources and support they need to adapt and thrive."

Employees said they, too, see the importance of the center.

Elyse Isopo, NP, an intensive care nurse at Northwell's North Shore University Hospital in Manhasset, N.Y., said in the news release: "This past year was something that no one has ever seen before. We were saying goodbye to patients every day, and the memories of that continue to be very painful. Now that it's slowing down a bit, we all have more time to reflect on what we've seen and how to process all of these experiences. That's why this center will be so important to so many people."

The new center is a partnership of Northwell's behavioral health service line with human resources, and the occupational medicine, epidemiology and prevention department.

Northwell is a 23-hospital system that has 830 outpatient facilities.

 

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