News & Press

WGXA interview on The second epidemic: Mental health concerns of front line heroes


MACON, Ga. -- There could be a second epidemic to come behind the coronavirus. 

The need for mental health care services for medical professionals on the front lines is expected to increase, according to Ashley Allen the director of River Edge Behavioral Health for Macon-Bibb and Monroe counties. 

"We think about the stress that we're all under, dealing with this virus and we need to understand that as healthcare workers it has definitely multiplied," says Allen.

According to Allen, health care workers are at a high risk of developing mental health conditions because of extended hours and the fear of spreading the virus to loved ones.

Lately, communities are celebrating health care workers in different ways, from parades to cards and gifts, to a flyover from the Blue Angels. 

I love all of the things that we're doing for our health care workers, talking about how they're heroes and superheroes and things, and they absolutely are, but we want to make sure that we're not making them feel like they're expected to be more than human.

Allen says that anxiety is a perfectly natural response to something like a pandemic. It's important to recognize the difficult emotions that health care workers are facing and to remember that they are people too.

She stresses the importance of medical professionals taking time to decompress and be present at home. Allen recommends that each person find what makes them happiest, whether it's taking a bubble bath or doing a puzzle.