Support group targets pandemic-stricken community health workers | News, Sports, Jobs
SALT LAKE CITY — Community health workers across Utah have spent an exhaustive two years caring for COVID-19 patients. Now it’s their turn to receive some hope and comfort.
Caring Connections, the nonprofit bereavement care program of the University of Utah College of Nursing, offers peer support group sessions to anyone in the field who needs time to relax and talk to each other about their experiences during the pandemic.
“Community health workers are an incredible resource for Utahns, especially those from underrepresented communities of color,” said Katherine Supiano, director of Caring Connections. “They themselves have been disproportionately affected by the pandemic. It has been gratifying to encourage their good work.
Supiano said with fewer cases, community health workers have started to return to their traditional work and now is the time to give them an opportunity to look back and reflect.
“During the first hour of the session, we will take time to look back and remember all the losses we have suffered, and for many community health workers this meant losing a limb of their own. family,” she said. “It will be people who come to give support as much as those who come to seek support. These people care deeply about their communities, but through this very difficult work, they have come to depend on each other and the value of that mutual support.
Just as important as the talks, Supiano said one of the main goals was to give health workers recovery time.
“Days and times will vary,” she said. “We will be organizing them geographically across the state, so we will be bringing in groups of community health workers to give them this two-hour retreat. These retreats are a time for relaxation and reflection, but they can also be very emotional. It is an opportunity to look back and also to look to the future.
Sessions are offered monthly. Caring Connections also works in conjunction with Latino Behavioral Health to offer the program in Spanish and English.
Those interested can call 801-585-9522.
In addition, Supiano said COVID-19 grief and recovery support groups are also offered to the public. Those who have lost family or friends to the virus and need help coping with their grief or ongoing emotional struggles related to their illness can call 801-585-9522.