Employers are boosting mental health resources as they recognize the strain that COVID-19 is putting on their employees.

Burrell Behavioral Health and Bothwell Regional Health Center have signed a Memorandum of Understanding to expand behavioral health services provided by Burrell to employees of Bothwell.

This is a virtual EAP-like service from Burrell, and also includes COVID-related debriefing. “Our employees’ mental health and well-being are important,” said Bothwell Human Resources and Support Services Executive Director Lisa Irwin. “Through this affiliation with Burrell, Bothwell is able to connect our employees with Burrell staff’s professional expertise in order to address a wide range of issues as well as strategies to cope with emotionally difficult situations that can occur in a hospital setting.”

Under this agreement, Bothwell employees will be able to take advantage of:

*Six free hours of virtual therapy and counseling
*Critical incident debriefings
*Burrell’s experience as a leader in community crisis response

There is a second curve, “the mental health curve,” related to the COVID-19 pandemic. This twin pandemic will be with us for some time. Past pandemics suggest a 1-3 year trailing period of negative mental health effects on the population. This partnership is a modern assistance and wellness program supplement to confront the potential psychological consequences of a public health pandemic.

Partnerships like this can have a lasting impact on individuals and the organizations. “Depression and mental health stress is one of the primary reasons employees miss work. The ease and convenience in accessing EAP (employee assistance program) services can be a great benefit to both the employee and employer,” said Burrell Behavioral Health Central Region President Mat Gass. “We are pleased and excited to partner with Bothwell Regional Health Center to provide these services to help support our communities.”

Gass added that having honest conversations can be tough, which is why partnering with an experienced mental health organization is a wise investment for employers. Burrell has been a Community Mental Health Center, focused on evidence-based work, since 1977.