As the pandemic continues, many medical workers are feeling the emotional and physical burnout from working on the frontlines.
One local non-profit, called “First Responder Resilience,” is aiming to help by providing resources, workshops and exercises.
“What we have done is come up with a way to provide ‘mental PPE’ to proactively protect against the mental traumas that they face every single day,” said Alfred Ricci, founder of Fire Responder Resilience.
Ricci says he started the program years ago to help first responders deal with stress and what he calls “compassion burnout.”
“This is what happens when you ignore yourself...you ignore taking care of yourself and you’re always giving to others,” said Ricci. .
Ricci says they offer mental wellness group activities virtually now given the pandemic.
“What happens mentally when you have chronic stress...it’s not unusual to start having thoughts like you don’t want to get up anymore...maybe life would be better if I wasn’t here...you start playing with those thoughts because you’re worn down,” Karen Eusebio, a licensed mental health counselor and director of the non-profit.
Those interested in seeking help or just opening a conversation should visit www.firstresponderresilience.com.
“When you start to feel stress, you’re not alone. There’s nothing wrong with you, you’re not broken...you don’t need to be fixed you just need to be rejuvenated,” added Eusebio.