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Mental health support line set up for Las Vegas healthcare workers during pandemic

Posted at 9:20 PM, May 02, 2020
and last updated 2020-05-03 02:33:32-04

LAS VEGAS (KTNV) — The discussions about mental health are increasing among healthcare workers on the front lines battling COVID-19.

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“The stress level for all of us in a hospital is very high,” says Dr. Staci McHale.

Dr. McHale is an OB-GYN physician, and rotates through emergency rooms in the Las Vegas valley.

She says healthcare workers can start to feel stress the second they start working.

“They come in and their COVID-19 positive patient is unstable the minute they get to the hospital, and that they have to call families that they’ve never talked to before to ask them and make some difficult decisions,” says Dr. McHale.

Adding to the stress, Dr. McHale says many healthcare workers also have to isolate themselves from their own loved ones to limit exposure.

“Some are in separate rooms of their house, some are actually away from their families in hotels,” says Dr. McHale.

The mental health of healthcare workers is getting new attention after the tragic loss of Dr. Lorna Breen.

She was an E.R. doctor who had been been treating coronavirus patients in New York City, and died by suicide.

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“It’s heartbreaking to know there are people on the front lines who have perished not just from COVID-19, but because of the mental health issues that have come from it,” says Dr. McHale.

The Clark County Medical Society, along with other partners, has launched a COVID-19 Support Line for healthcare workers.

You can call 1-877-493-0007, and choose option 2. The support line is available from noon to 10 p.m., 7 days a week.

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