8 June 2020


SAMA has partnered  SA Society of Psychiatrists (SASOP), Psychological Society of SA (PsySSA), SA Society of Anaesthesiologists (SASA), and the SA Depression and Anxiety Group (SADAG).to launch the Healthcare Workers Care Network (HWCN) aimed at assisting healthcare workers with support and care as they face possibly the biggest crisis in their careers. 

It offers all healthcare workers across the public and private sectors free support, pro bono therapy, resources, training and psychoeducation.

The HWCN already has over 500 volunteer mental health professionals, including psychiatrists, psychologists, GPs, registered counsellors, and social workers, who will provide help, intervention, and support to all healthcare workers. These include doctors, nurses, community healthcare workers, field workers, hospital or clinic personnel, including hospital laundry staff, and porters

The HWCN has launched a 24-hour toll-free Helpline (0800 21 21 21), SMS 43003 and website (https://www.healthcareworkerscarenetwork.org.za/) so that all healthcare workers can access immediate counselling and support.

Exposure to the virus, long working hours, psychological distress, looking after own family and challenges with home-schooling, fatigue, burnout are real hazards.

Every new COVID-19 diagnosis means longer hours, less sleep, and increasingly irregular meals for our frontline workers, resulting in weakened immune systems and lower resilience.

The Healthcare Workers Care Network (HWCN) initiative is a strictly confidential, free service run and delivered by volunteer psychiatrists and psychologists and aims to support existing employee wellness programs.

It has a main preventative arm with resources for psychoeducation and training of leaders in healthcare as well as personalised support sessions for individual healthcare workers. This current healthcare crisis is not going to resolve itself any time soon. We must support these healthcare workers who are working tirelessly to save lives and treat those that are ill.

Healthcare Workers Care Network Support Services Contact Details:

24 hour Healthcare Workers Care Network Helpline – 0800 21 21 21 (available 7 days a week) · SMS 43001

Website www.healthcareworkerscarenetwork.org.za –
fill in the online form on the homepage to request individual therapy and

Online requests for support and counselling
are accessible through the website, the SAMA Page at: http://samedical.co.za/lime/index.php/338121?lang=en
Through the EMGuidance App: https://emguidance.com/
Or Through the Vulamobile App: www.vulamobile.com

Source: SAMA 

Article link: https://medbriefafrica.co.za/support-network-launched-for-overburdened-healthcare-workers-launched/