A mental health expert is working with the staff at the 2-1-1 Helpline in Tulsa who are answering COVID-19 calls.
The goal is to help them handle the stress that comes from hearing the crises of others.
Fatigue therapist Janice Harris has years of experience helping people deal with tragedy in weather disasters such as Hurricane Irma and Hurricane Maria.
“It’s about making them aware of what is going on because it starts in the brain and ends in the body,” Harris said.
Since the pandemic began spreading in Oklahoma, Harris has met with the Community Service Council. The CSC takes calls from the public about distress and needs which often include food and clothing.
“We help people process what is going on in the agency as far as crisis and trauma,” Harris said.
Harris schedules two to three meetings each week with the staff on the Zoom app.
Harris looks at quality assurance to see if there are issues that need to be resolved.
In a time like this, Harris believes compassion fatigue can take place.
Compassion fatigue can happen to anyone, but Harris said it’s always best to keep helping before any symptoms occur.
“I would suggest that they seek out a local mental health worker and talk to them about what is happening,” Harris said.