The number for Talk It Out CT was listed incorrectly in an earlier email. 
The correct number is 1-833-258-5011


Please view and share the following resources for Frontline Workers to support their mental health through this unprecedented crisis.

Hero Hotline 1(888)217-HERO (4370) : As part of Community Health Resources’ Zero Suicide initiative, they’ve released the new Hero Hotline 1(888)217-HERO (4370) for people like you and other Frontline workers and their families and friends. The Hero Hotline is staffed 7 days a week from 10 a.m. to 8 p.m., and will connect callers to a trained professional, and refer them to resources for ongoing care and support. Click here for the flyer.

Healthcare Tool Box: COVID-19 Resources for Healthcare Staff

Time & Space to Decompress: Work sites such as UConn Health and the United Way of CT/2-1-1 have dedicated Comfort or Wellness spaces for their staff. Now more than ever, staff need to be supported to take breaks. Whether it’s using a comfort room for quiet mindfulness-meditation; taking a walk; eating meals or taking a moment to have a snack or drink; going to the rest room to freshen up; or getting a breath of fresh air outside. A little break can go a long way for stress and mental health to let the steam out to prevent boil over.

Employee Assistance Program Services: Often workplaces have Employee Assistance Programs (EAP) staffed by professional clinicians. EAPs are often one of your greatest assets and underutilized resources. If you don’t know who your EAP is, your HR office will know; however, it’s important to understand that EAP is not HR. EAP services are contractors, for example DMHAS via DAS contracts with Solutions EAP.

I strongly encourage you and/or your family members to connect with your EAP if you are in need of support yourself, or if you’d like to discuss needs of your staff that they may help address such as: hosting staff calls or video conferences for stress management and debriefing; posting materials on website like the examples below; or developing and promoting tip sheets that support self-care, EAP resources, and additional help lines as highlighted below my signature.

Peer Support Buddy System: Peer support is highly effective, and it doesn’t have to cost anything. It can be as simple as asking your staff to buddy up with one or two people, and encouraging them to do at minimum a daily check-in at the beginning of shifts, and a debrief at the end of shifts with each other, like an emotional temperature check. Just as with other gatekeeper efforts, there should also be a protocol that if a peer recognizes that someone needs additional help that they are connected to a supervisor, EAP, their doctor or mental health clinicians, and/or a family member. And certainly emergency services as needed.

Talk It Out: Many Frontline staff are sandwiched by the significant responsibilities of providing health or behavioral healthcare services, supporting their children at home who are distance learning amongst other things, and supporting older adult parents. DCF and United Way of CT/2-1-1 established this help line for parents and caregivers to help them manage the stress of it all - Talk It Out - 1(833)258-5011

Dealing with Stress in the Workplace: Frustration, Stress and Compassion Fatigue/Burnout 

Compassion Fatigue: Warning Signs, Assessment, and Overcoming it

Stress and Burnout Check-up Tools for Frontline Workers 

Thank you. Stay well, stay safe, and stay connected!

Andrea Iger Duarte, MPH, LCSW
Behavioral Health Program Manager
CT Department of Mental Health and Addiction Services
Prevention & Health Promotion Division, Office of the Commissioner
410 Capitol Avenue, MS #14, PHP
Hartford, CT 06134
Phone: (860) 418-6801; Fax: (860) 418-6792

National Suicide Prevention Lifeline – In Crisis call 1(800)273-TALK (8255) or 211 in CT or Crisis Text Line: Text CT to 741741; In an Emergency Call or Text 911
National Disaster Distress Helpline: Call 1-800-985-5990 or text TalkWithUs to 66746
Talk It Out Line: 1(833)528-5011;
Hero Hotline 1(888)217-HERO (4370) for Frontline Workers and those who care for them
Solutions EAP 1-800-526-3485 (24/7); forDMHAS staff and others served by Solutions EAP