Mental Health Month takes on new meaning in the midst of COVID-19

The entrance of Memorial Satilla Health in Waycross, Georgia, lit up green for Mental Health Month
Affiliate Memorial Satilla Health in Waycross, Ga. goes green to bring awareness to Mental Health Month

Three months in to the pandemic, we find ourselves in the middle of Mental Health Month, observed annually in May. The circumstances of COVID-19 leave many grappling with isolation, anxiety and fear. There has never been a more important time to monitor your mental well-being and that of your loved ones. At HCA Healthcare, we stand together for the mental health of our patients – and – for our more than 280,000 colleagues. Learn more below…

Each year we fight stigma surrounding mental health, but this year is different. The National Alliance on Mental Illness (NAMI) cites, “Now more than ever, we need to find ways to stay connected with our community. No one should feel alone or without the information, support and help they need.” As the global pandemic continues – mental health for all is critical – especially for front line workers and healthcare professionals. Through a variety of unique programs, HCA Healthcare is committed to helping our colleagues address their mental health needs during COVID-19.

“COVID-19 has exposed each of us to an array of emotions ― grief, fear, anxiety, loss and loneliness. These feelings are expected in a crisis. They make us human. But, you don’t have to deal with them on your own,” said Dr. Frank Drummond, chief medical officer of behavioral health services at HCA Healthcare.

“If you are a colleague feeling overwhelmed or discouraged, HCA Healthcare wants you to know that there are people, resources and tools to help you during these unprecedented times.”

Caring for the caregiver during crisis

As the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention warns, doctors, nurses and first responders are among those who may be most impacted by stress during this pandemic, and we’re dedicated to providing support to our colleagues on the front lines as this crisis continues.

Nurse Heather Godfrey wearing a face mask
Heather Godfrey, nurse at affiliate Cache Valley Hospital in North Logan, Utah.

“As nurses, we believe in doing what is right for patients. I’m glad that my organization, HCA Healthcare, has been very proactive about providing us with the supplies and resources we need to do just that. That gives me confidence every day,” explains Heather Godfrey, a nurse at affiliate Cache Valley Hospital in North Logan, Utah.

“I’m ok when I’m at work. You know, you show up and put on your ‘nurse face’ so you can help others cope with their issues. But, when you go home you have to process all this and that can be hard sometimes,” Godfrey adds.  “I find comfort in other nurses, not just locally but across the U.S. We are all in this together and have to support each other. You can’t do it by yourself—you have to rely on your team. We also have a free help line that all our colleagues can use to help stay mentally well, 24/7, which is an awesome resource!”

Learn more about the programs and services offered to HCA Healthcare colleagues to help with mental health and wellness below.

Nurse Care

Nurse Care is a program to help all HCA Healthcare hospital-based nurses with work/life balance, managing stress and anxiety, promoting self-care and handling common nursing issues. Through this program, nurses have remote access to licensed psychologists, social workers, alcohol and drug counselors and marriage and family therapists. Nurse Care is free, confidential and available 24/7 by calling (800) 480-1234.

Beacon Health Wellbeing Program

With the Beacon Wellbeing Program, colleagues can schedule confidential phone or video call sessions with a licensed counselor. Colleagues receive five no-cost sessions per issue for each qualifying family member.

HCA Healthcare colleagues can learn more at (click HCA Healthcare Rewards and search EAP) or by calling (800) 434-5100.

The HCA Healthcare Hope Fund

As HCA Healthcare colleagues, it is our priority to take care of patients as well as each other.  Our colleagues are facing extraordinary financial hardships as a result of COVID-19, which can trigger mental stress points. For our colleagues who experience changes in financial circumstances and show a demonstrated need, the HCA Healthcare Hope Fund stands ready to help. Since its inception in 2005, the HCA Healthcare Hope Fund has given more than $58 million to colleagues in crisis with the help of more than 33,000 employee donors annually.


In April, HCA Healthcare joined a coalition spearheaded by Psych Hub, which recently debuted a free, national COVID-19 Mental Health Resource Hub. This ground breaking collaborative effort joins together the leading mental health advocacy groups, healthcare industry partners and the Department of Veterans Affairs. We’re proud to come together with other leading organizations in our shared commitment to provide our communities, healthcare workers and those on the front lines with resources to manage their mental health.

Doctor On Demand

Doctor On Demand is currently available for all HCA Healthcare colleagues and their dependents with a $0 copay. This 24/7 telemedicine app allows you to meet with board-certified physicians via video on a smartphone, tablet or computer to review symptoms and medications and get recommended treatment options. In addition to colds, sinus infections and skin and eye conditions, physicians can also provide care for anxiety, depression and stress, among other concerns.

Sanvello App

The Optum Behavioral Health Sanvello app, which helps with anxiety, depression and stress, is offering free premium access to all HCA Healthcare colleagues during the COVID-19 pandemic. Colleagues have access to features like daily mood tracking, coping tools, guided journeys and community support.

“You’re not alone”

“As we all continue to navigate this time together, know that you’re not alone,” Drummond concludes.

If you or someone you know are in a crisis, please seek help immediately. The Suicide Prevention Lifeline (1-800-273-TALK) offers free confidential, around-the-clock support for people in distress as well as prevention and crisis resources for oneself and others.

9-1-1 emergency service is still available during the COVID-19 pandemic and may be a necessary resource if a friend, family member, or employee is facing a severe mental health crisis.

About HCA Healthcare

HCA Healthcare, one of the nation's leading providers of healthcare services, is comprised of 183 hospitals and more than 2,300 sites of care, in 20 states and the United Kingdom. Our more than 283,000 colleagues are connected by a single purpose — to give patients healthier tomorrows.

As an enterprise, we recognize the significant responsibility we have as a leading healthcare provider within each of the communities we serve, as well as the opportunity we have to improve the lives of the patients for whom we are entrusted to care. Through the compassion, knowledge and skill of our caregivers, and our ability to leverage our scale and innovative capabilities, HCA Healthcare is in a unique position to play a leading role in the transformation of care.

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