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How frontline workers are impacted by the stress from coronavirus

It's mental health awareness month, and doctors and nurses on the front lines of the pandemic are dealing with heightened levels of fear and anxiety.

We're nearly three months into a pandemic, and those providing the help now need it for themselves.

"The people on the front lines that are seeing a lot of stress, death, anguish, and they have their own fears too."

Dr. Anne Gilbert is the medical director for the Virtual Behavioral Health hub at IU Health.

The health hub is a 24/7 call team ready to provide mental assistance. 

"We offer psychological first aid, which essentially is understanding where that person is, acknowledging their feelings and then getting them hooked up with whatever they need from there.

You can remain anonymous.

After the call, they'll decide if you need further treatment or if you just needed someone to talk to.

It's stressful work in an already stressful time.

"We know front-line health care workers, about 50% of them will develop some significant problem with depression, anxiety or even PTSD."

"What's interesting and what's kind of a little scary during COVID-19 is that, there's also the possibility that you might get sick."

There's also a fear workers will pass COVID onto their loved ones.

John Shepard, a clinical nurse at Methodist, says there are high demands, especially when caring for patients.

But it's what they do, and will continue to do until the end, as long as we're in this together. 

"The common humanity is really helpful to me to remember that we're all really in this together. And in ways that's kind of beautiful."

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