The Colorado Department of Human Services, Office of Behavioral Health (OBH) has partnered with the University of Colorado Anschutz Medical Campus (CU Anschutz), Department of Psychiatry to offer free mental wellness support for frontline health care workers and providers.
Past the Pandemic, part of CU Anschutz’s Extension for Community Health Outcomes (ECHO) program, offers peer-based mental wellness services to help health care workers manage stress, burnout, trauma and other challenges brought on by the COVID-19 pandemic. Health care workers and physicians from across the state can take a stress management training series, participate in group sessions or talk with a peer through a call and text line.
To date more than 438 health care workers from 35 Colorado counties have participated in Past the Pandemic trainings, which teach symptoms of stress and burnout and ways to prevent stress injury. About 1,000 people have taken part in more than 215 group support sessions, and about 200 frontline workers have contacted the peer support line.
Four ways to connect
Healthcare workers should contact the Well-Being Support Line, and physicians should contact the Physician Support Line. Both lines are staffed by peers who also work in the health care field.
About the partnership
To support the state’s response to the pandemic, the federal Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration awarded OBH two emergency grants totaling $2 million and $2.86 million in April 2020 and March 2021, respectively. Drawing from the first grant, OBH initially invested $321,000 in Past the Pandemic and allocated an additional $271,000 from the second grant in FY 20-21. Later this fiscal year, OBH plans to dedicate another $328,000 of the $2.86 million grant to help CU Anschutz expand programming to educators. With the $271,000 boost, CU Anschutz is offering more support for health care workers who could benefit from behavioral health services, including arranging virtual appointments with clinicians and connecting participants to longer-term care.