SOUTHERN COLORADO — Essential workers, including healthcare workers, are expected to go out and face danger when everyone else is expected to stay inside. We are almost a year into the pandemic, and medical experts say frontline workers are experiencing burnout, and are having trouble coping day to day.
According to Mental Health America, 93 percent of healthcare workers have felt stressed or overwhelmed in the last year. Frontline workers who are helping COVID patients fight the virus, have experienced extreme loss. Many watched their patients die from the virus, often times without their families alongside them.
News5 spoke to a pharmacy director at one of the vaccine sites in Southern Colorado. Chris Martin says he would use three words to describe this past year.
"If I could sum it up, I would use three words. Challenging, chaotic, and rewarding. We didn't really know what we were dealing with. It felt like a change on an everyday basis," Martin explained.
Frontline medical workers have also had to worry about bringing the virus home to their own families. At one point during this pandemic there were PPE and ICU bed shortage concerns. Ventilators were also running out across several states.
"It feels likes it's been longer than a year to be honest about it," Martin said. "The staff feels like there is a light at the end of the tunnel because of the vaccine, but it's a distant light."
So now the question becomes what can be done for our frontline heroes who are suffering in silence?
Centura Health has what it calls a the Caregiver Resiliency Program. Over the last year, those in charge of it have worked to offer mental health resources, as well as coordinate thousands of meals for frontline staff. UChealth also offers a similar program.
The National Suicide Prevention lifeline, provides free and confidential support for those in crisis 24/7 at 1-800-273-8255.