Caregiver Mental Health

It can be difficult for caregivers to shift to asking for help for themselves. These resources can be a starting point for caregivers, their colleagues and their loved ones.

National Suicide Prevention Lifeline 1-800-273-TALK (8255) 

Recognizing and Responding to Distress in Someone Else

When possible, provide a safe and private environment away from patient care. Actively listen, provide reassurance, and express interest.
Suggested language: “I am concerned about you. Can we talk more about this?”

Determine the level of distress and whether emergency evaluation is required (i.e., suicidal ideation with intent is present).
Suggested language: “Have things gotten so bad that you’ve thought about hurting yourself or someone else?”

Christiana Care Clinician in Distress Guidelines

Resources

Vital Work-Life for members of Christiana Care’s Medical-Dental Staff and their families. Web: Username CCHS, password member or call 877-731-3949.

Care for the Caregiver provides peer support for individuals and teams at Christiana Care following difficult cases. Vocera web page Care for the Caregiver.

Resource Liaison Line for residents, fellows and members of Christiana Care’s Medical-Dental Staff. This confidential, in-house resource offers referrals to mental health and wellbeing services. Calls are typically returned within 24 hours. 302-319-1304.

Employee Assistance Program (EAP) This confidential, free service for Christiana Care caregivers and members of their households offers professional counseling for such life complexities as stress, grief and loss and career concerns. Call 877-595-5284 or visit www.guidanceresources.com(Web ID: EAPComplete).

Self-Assessments*

Mental Health America: Depression Screening.

Mental Health America: Anxiety Screening.

Mental Health America: Alcohol or Substance Abuse Screening.

Anxiety & Depression Association of America: Obsessive-Compulsive Disorder Screening.

*These screening tools are provided to aid caregivers in self-reflection and to identify the potential need for additional services. These tools are not intended to replace the advice of trained professionals and should not be construed as an endorsement by or affiliation with Christiana Care Health System.

Further Reading

American Foundation for Suicide Prevention

Black Bile: Website dedicated to physicians with depression, and those who care about them.

Preventing Physician Distress and Suicide: Learning module.

Nurse Suicide: Breaking the Silence: A study investigating prevalence, risk and preventive factors of suicide among nurses.

Out of the Straightjacket article and video: A physician’s story of depression and recovery.

Overcoming the Stigma of Mental Illness in Physicians: A physician’s personal story.

A Piece of My Mind, Rebuilding More of Me: A physician’s personal account of getting help.