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Charlotte Talks: Local Health Care Workers Share Their Daily Challenges In A COVID World


Wednesday, July 22, 2020

COVID-19 is taking a toll on the nation with those on the front lines feeling the brunt of it. Overwhelmed health care workers put themselves in jeopardy to help others and that may be impacting those workers’ mental health.

The number of coronavirus cases and hospitalizations continues to climb here and around the country. Health care workers have been facing this tsunami of dangerously ill patients for months while also contending with shortages in the supply of personal protective gear and other needed medical equipment.

Because the virus is so contagious, they are also dealing with illness and death on a scale that few professionals could have prepared for. And there are serious concerns about how this may be affecting the mental health of medical personnel.

Some of those workers share their experiences, and we talk with a psychologist about the impact of those experiences.


Dr. Edward Kim, chair of the solid tumor program and clinical trials at Levine Cancer Institute. He has treated cancer patients with COVID-19, a unique population that’s twice as likely to contract the virus and has more serious complications

Dr. Alexis Smith, critical care physician and pulmonologist. She works in the intensive care units at Novant Health hospitals in Charlotte taking care of critical care patients, including those with COVID-19

Mary Gail Frawley-O'Dea, Ph.D, licensed psychologist, trauma specialist, and executive director of nonprofit Presbyterian Psychological Services, which is offering free therapy for health care workers

Mental Health Resources for Health Care Workers

In Charlotte area:

Presbyterian Psychological Services: (704) 554-9900, presbypsych.org: Offering free therapy for health care workers.

HopeWay: (980) 859-0990, jazmine.lewis@hopeway.org, hopeway.org: Offering free support groups for physicians and health care workers.


Physician Support Line: 1 (888) 409-0141, physiciansupportline.com: Free phone counseling for physicians by psychiatrists

National Suicide Prevention Lifeline: 1 (800) 273-TALK (8255), suicidepreventionlifeline.org

National Alliance on Mental Health: 1 (800) 950-NAMI (6264), info@nami.org, nami.org/help: Information and resource referrals

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Erin Keever is Senior Producer of WFAE's Charlotte Talks with Mike Collins. She has been with the show since joining the station in 2006. She's a native Charlottean.