As the news and other information surrounding concerns of Ebola in the United States have the potential to trigger anxiety, confusion, anger and worry among healthcare workers and the public-at-large, local health departments can share emotional support resources to help community members cope with feelings of fear or anxiety over Ebola.
The national Disaster Distress Helpline (DDH), a program of the U.S. Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration, is a 24/7 crisis/emotional support resource that is currently providing supportive counseling for anyone in the U.S. experiencing distress surrounding Ebola. Helpline staff are trained in Psychological First Aid and “Just In Time” disaster crisis counseling to provide counseling and support, including information on common stress reactions and healthy coping, as well as referrals to local disaster-related resources for follow-up care. In addition, services are multi-lingual and texting/TTY (1-800-846-8517) is available for the deaf and hard of hearing.
Additionally, the American Psychological Association (APA) has updated their Help Center with the resource page, “Managing your fear about Ebola.” APA offers tips to help those who are feeling concern and anxiety over Ebola to take active steps to manage their fear.