The goal of this group is to provide medical professionals with a safe space to process and provide support to one another during the COVID-19 pandemic. This group is open to any medical professional treating COVID-19 patients who wish to receive empathy and validation from others who understand firsthand what you are experiencing. This group is free of charge, in an effort to express appreciation for all that you do to treat our loved ones and in keeping the rest us safe. Your participation is voluntary, and you can choose to join, leave, or rejoin at any time. The sole purpose is for you to have a place to process your experience with the people who can support you better than anyone else in these circumstances: your peers who are also on the front lines.
You are faced with insurmountable circumstances that are traumatic
As a medical professional, you worked in a field that is markedly intense and demanding well before the COVID-19 crisis. Because of the pandemic, it is very likely that you are experiencing increased isolation, overwhelm, anxiety, hypervigilance, or even emotional detachment or numbness in addition to the exhaustion of the intensity and increased duration of your hours at work. In addition, many of you have been forced to become isolated from your family and loved ones who are normally the ones who give you a sense of relief and reprieve from your stressors at work. This is the essence of trauma- overwhelming circumstances without the ability to feel the assurance of others to help you move your experiences outside of yourself.
What you are feeling in these circumstances is normal
Feeling hopeless, tired, and/or unable to be mentally or emotionally present in conversations with loved ones normal, given what you are experiencing at work. Even if you are able to go home to loved ones or able to stay in touch in virtual ways, it is normal for you to feel isolated in your personal experiences of trauma. You may even find yourself feeling alone, isolated, or numb in the middle of those interactions. You might find yourself feeling irritable when others speak about things that seem trivial; like finding yourself angry with friends complaining about not being able to go on vacation, after a day when you saw multiple patients succumb to their COVID-19 symptoms or help a patient say their final goodbyes via a FaceTime call. You may find yourself having nightmares about what has happened at work, or ruminating over what happened during the day. While experiencing any of that is undoubtedly very distressing, given the circumstances you are faced with, they are normal responses to the trauma.
You are not alone, though you may need a different form of support
While your loved ones most likely try their best to be supportive during this time, it is very likely that you feel that they do not quite understand what you are experiencing and therefore are not able to give you the support and empathy in a way that feels like it entirely fits your need. This is not your fault or theirs, this is simply the nature of the specific form of trauma you are experiencing.
Feel free to pass this flyer along to any loved ones or colleagues who may be interested in participating. We will ensure that every person who wishes to join will be able to.