Rutgers Launches Mental Health Helpline for Nurses on COVID-19 Frontline

The Peer Support Line, staffed by nurses trained in mental health, will also help the nurses’ families

To help nurses with mental health issues during the coronavirus pandemic, Rutgers University’s National Behavioral Health Care Communication Center and the New Jersey Nursing Initiative Launched nurse 2 nurse (7301-687-844, a confidential peer support helpline that connects them with retired or former nurses trained in mental health who can help them.

More than 200,000 registered and other nurses across New Jersey will be able to access the line, which is also available for their family members Monday through Friday from 8 a.m. to 8 p.m. Nurse2Nurse offers individual peer support, virtual support groups, health and wellness seminars, and other resources on its website

Helpline – Funded by the New Jersey Pandemic Relief Fund (PRF)It is an affiliate program of the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation and a cooperative program of the New Jersey Hospital AssociationI received one of five grants given to nonprofits to address the impact of the pandemic on mental health issues for the state’s most vulnerable population.

“The coronavirus has had a negative impact on the mental health of many New Jersey residents, but has disproportionately affected communities of color, students and health care workers,” said First Lady Tammy Murphy, founding president of NJPRF. “It is critical that we address the mental health problems that result from populations at risk.”

In a December 2020 survey of more than 12,000 nurses nationwide, the American Nurses Foundation found that 72 percent reported feeling stressed amid the pandemic, 64 percent feeling overwhelmed and 57 percent reporting feelings of anxiety or irritability.

“The pandemic has affected nurses who were already suffering from stress, mental health issues and fatigue. This year, they have faced long bouts, fear of exposure to the virus that could infect themselves and their families, lack of childcare, financial stress and the deaths of patients and colleagues,” She said Mark Graham Center Executive Director. “We are grateful to the New Jersey Pandemic Relief Fund and the New Jersey Nursing Initiative for this support, which will allow Rutgers National Center for Communication to help nurses in the state manage their mental health.”

“As nurses, it can be hard to share what’s going on with us, so we keep it inside,” says Barbara Brilliantin, RN, a peer counselor at Nurse2Nurse. “Nurse2Nurse is a sacred place to receive the gifts of connection and wellness that every nursing hero deserves.”

Nurse2Nurse joins other helplines run by Rutgers: Vets 4 WarriorsAnd NJ Vet2VetAnd Cop2CopAnd factor 2 factorAnd Mom2MomAnd Care2CaregiversAnd 4BlueNJ and the AID-NJEA Helpline.

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