Healthcare professionals and first responders are more susceptible to insomnia, anxiety, and depression while on the frontlines of the COVID-19 pandemic. Our healthcare professionals and first responders are working extended hours, experiencing physical exhaustion, and taking on extra responsibilities. Their social support networks have been disrupted and all of this is taking a toll on their mental well-being. In response, the Board of Supervisors today approved a motion authored by Los Angeles County Supervisor Hilda L. Solis directing LA County’s Department of Mental Health (DMH) to explore expanding access and awareness of resources to County employees and non-County first responders and healthcare workers.

“Our healthcare workers and first responders are enduring prolonged exposure to high stress to make sure we all are safe from COVID-19, and we must protect our heroes who are protecting us,” said Supervisor Solis. “Many healthcare workers have decided to isolate in hotels to prevent their families from being exposed to COVID-19. Others have asked loved ones to care for their children. These are the sacrifices they are making to care for their patients. Mental health cannot be an afterthought; it is as important as physical health. LA County will ramp us its support for our caregivers.”

Today’s motion directs DMH to look into the feasibility of expanding access to DMH‘s internal Helpline to non-County first responders and healthcare workers. It also calls for a survey assessment of resources most useful to frontline workers.

The motion also directs pertinent County departments to come up with a plan on how to expand awareness of these resources among community organizations and County employees. Lastly, it also requests a 45-day report back with recommendations.

###

Contact: Rosa Maria Santana, Deputy Director of Communications,  rsantana@bos.lacounty.gov