A group of state and nonprofit agencies Tuesday launched a new phone support service to provide emotional support to health care workers and first responders who are working on the frontlines responding to the coronavirus pandemic.
Called the FrontLine WarmLine, the phone support service was launched to help Maine health care professionals and first responders deal with stress and anxiety related to tackling the COVID-19 pandemic.
Volunteers from Maine Responds, the state’s network of emergency health volunteers, will staff the phone line. The coronavirus pandemic has prompted hundreds of people with medical and public health backgrounds to register with the service to offer their assistance during the pandemic if needed. Those volunteers, who numbered 2,200 at the end of March, could be called upon for a range of assignments if needed, such as staffing short-staffed health care facilities.
The volunteers staffing the line will include licensed psychiatrists, psychologists, therapists, social workers, and nurse practitioners.
The FrontLine Warmline will serve physicians, nurses, counselors, emergency medical services personnel and law enforcement, according to the Maine Department of Health and Human Services.
“The heroism that you display in going to work every day and taking care of Maine people who need that help is nothing short of astonishing,” Maine CDC Director Nirav Shah said Tuesday, addressing health care professionals treating COVID-19. “And we want to be able to support you, physically, emotionally, and in every other way possible as you continue to do that work.”
The FrontLine WarmLine will be available to clinicians and first responders from 8 a.m. to 8 p.m., seven days a week by calling 207-221-8196 or 866-367-4440. It will be operational until further notice, and text capability will be added soon.