WILMINGTON, N.C. (WECT) - Officials with the N.C. Department of Health and Human Services announced on Tuesday that the agency is expanding the Hope4Healers Helpline to support staff who work in the state’s child care programs.
Earlier in April, the NCDHHS, in partnership with the N.C. Psychological Foundation, announced the creation of the Hope4Healers Helpline to provide mental health and resilience supports throughout the state for health care professionals, other staff who work in health care settings, first responders and their families who are all experiencing stress from being on the front lines of the state’s COVID-19 response.
“North Carolina’s child care staff are the essential workforce supporting other essential personnel – working each day to provide safe, stable and nurturing care for children and families experiencing stress in their lives while coping with their own stress,” said NCDHHS Chief Deputy Secretary Susan Gale Perry. “We want to make sure that they have access to the mental health and resilience supports they may need during this crisis.”
Hope4Healers, which can be reached at 919-226-2002, is now equipped with 24/7 call line support, so callers can speak to a live person who, officials say, will listen compassionately, offer emotional support and make connections, including referral for follow-up supports.
“It was critical that we stood up this important resource as quickly as possible,” said Deputy Secretary for Behavioral Health and Intellectual and Developmental Disabilities Kody Kinsley. “And we are excited to make more immediate human connections when people need help.”
Hope4Healers is still recruiting and onboarding additional licensed mental health volunteers to offer supportive brief therapeutic intervention. Volunteers must register though the NC Training, Exercise, and Response Management System (NC TERMS). The system can be accessed online at terms.ncem.org/TRS. Volunteers must follow these steps:
- Create a personal profile in NC TERMS
- In NC TERMS, click ‘Join a Team’; select ‘ESF8 – Public Health and Medical Services’; then select ‘COVID 19 Medical Response Volunteers.’
- From there, select ‘Mental/Behavioral Health Personnel’ and click ‘Request Membership.’
- Volunteers will be contacted for follow-up once their licenses have been validated.