Finding Hope


FINDING HOPE: Hotline offers emotional support to frontline workers

Posted at 1:04 PM, Aug 31, 2020
and last updated 2020-08-31 15:40:58-04

BOISE, Idaho — Working from home has become the new normal for a lot of Idahoans this year, but not everyone has the option. A new program from the Department of Health and Welfare aims to offer emotional support to essential workers out on the front lines of the pandemic.

"I really think the purpose of this program is to help the people who’ve been helping us this whole time," BPA Health Director of Provider and Client Services Jeremy Battershell said. "We’ve had the luxury of working from home since March, and I know others are not so fortunate, and you know, that can take a toll on people."

All essential workers like doctors, nurses, gas station employees, and grocery store workers can now receive help navigating their existing benefits or access five free counseling sessions with a licensed clinician.

"It’s anything from looking up resources on babysitting to legal forms, and what have you," Battershell explained. "So really, we can help in a lot of different ways."

RELATED ARTICLE: COVID Help Now Hotline helps Idahoans handle mental health amid pandemic

The Coronavirus Counseling Assistance for Frontline Workers Program is funded through a $200,000 federal grant.

Local agents are answering the calls during business hours, but a crisis line is up and running 24-7. They also have Spanish speaking agents and a language line, assuring assistance is available in any language. The phone number to call is 1-866-536-0239.

"We hope to offer a level of support that will allow people to through their days and continue their work, but feeling comfortable about that and having an outlet to appropriately vent those concerns," IDHW Division of Behavioral Health Program Manager Rosie Andueza said.