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SF Now Provides 24/7 Counseling for All Health Care Workers

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By - posted 4/8/2020 No Comment

Mayor London Breed Announces Expanded Mental Health Resources for First Responders and All Health Care Employees

Wednesday, April 08, 2020

The City and County of San Francisco launches “Heal San Francisco” to expand mental health support for all health care workers; increases mental health resources for first responders and City employees

San Francisco, CA — Mayor London N. Breed today announced enhanced mental health resources designed specifically for the City’s first responders, and expanded mental health services for all frontline health care workers throughout San Francisco. Combined, these new resources will help the City build resiliency and recover from the trauma caused by COVID‑19.

Read the full press release

The City and County of San Francisco is partnering with Cordico, a phone-based wellness application, to provide a customizable wellness application for use by all City first responders. The application will connect employees to newly expanded City mental health resources and existing resources within each department.

These expanded resources, coordinated through the San Francisco Health Service System, will include additional employee counseling services and 24/7 mental health care for all City employees.

The existing Employee Assistance Program will be expanded to provide 24/7 one-on-one counseling for any first responder and City employee in need. If employees require long-term mental health counseling, they will be connected to mental health professionals provided by their health care plans, including Kaiser, Blue Shield of California, and United Health Care.

Heal San Francisco

In addition to the expanded services specifically targeted for first responders, Mayor Breed also announced the launch of ‘Heal San Francisco,’ a comprehensive effort to provide immediate and coordinated mental health services for public, private, and non-profit health care workers. The mental health effort will be implemented by the Heal San Francisco Rapid Response Team, which is led by Our Children Our Families (OCOF) Council in partnership with the Department of Public Health and UCSF. OCOF is an initiative under the Department of Children, Youth, and their Families.

The Heal San Francisco Rapid Response Team has partnered with the Bay Area Chapter of the COVID-19 Pro Bono Counseling Project to expand access to counseling and mental health support for public, private, and non-profit health care providers in need of immediate, short-term support. Heal San Francisco will leverage the support of 375 licensed clinicians, representing diverse backgrounds and multilingual expertise, who will volunteer their time throughout the duration of this crisis to provide the mental health care to support frontline health care staff. Health care workers who need assistance should speak with their supervisor or human resources department to be connected with a pro bono clinician.

Additionally, Heal San Francisco will convene a panel of trauma and stress experts to advise on how to better deliver trauma-informed mental health care through San Francisco’s existing health care and community-based service systems. This clinical advisory group will help promote and align strategies to buffer and potentially mitigate the impacts of prolonged stress on our residents.

Currently, there is a global experience of mass trauma related to COVID-19 and this experience will impact our health and wellbeing beyond the length of this pandemic. Heal San Francisco will work to promote mental wellbeing citywide, and will coordinate between different health plans and service agencies, ensure access to mental health resources, and promote collaboration across public, nonprofit and volunteer efforts. A future expansion of the Heal San Francisco initiative will look to provide mental health care services to a broader citywide population.

For more information about Heal San Francisco, go to https://healsanfrancisco.org/.