Frontline heroes face mental health battles while fighting coronavirus

Updated: May. 4, 2020 at 10:57 PM CDT
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JACKSON, Miss. (WLBT) - The coronavirus pandemic has changed virtually every aspect of our lives, especially for our frontline heroes who are working every day to protect us.

It’s difficult for many health care workers to focus on their own well-being while their busy taking care of others.

Just last week, A doctor in New York was at the front lines of fighting the coronavirus pandemic and, due with the weight of it all, took her own life.

3 On Your Side sat down with a local doctor who reminded health care workers that they are not alone.

“I have never experienced, nor could I have ever imagined anything to this magnitude such as this pandemic,” said Dr. Timothy Quinn of Quinn Healthcare in Ridgeland.

The Executive Director of the Mississippi State Medical Association, Dr. Claude Brunson, says physicians are at higher risk than the general population for risk of suicide and other stress related issues such as burnout.

“The uncertainty can be stressful for anyone, but especially health care providers,” said Dr. Brunson.

Dr. Quinn says he is not surprised when he hears about other health care workers struggling with stress and anxiety

“As a medical doctor, and just as a person, I am susceptible to stress just like everyone else," he admitted. “What I do personally is try to maintain somewhat of a normal life. A lot of people confuse the social distancing with isolation.”

Dr. Quinn also practices self-care by spending more time outdoors.

“Exercise as much as you can! Still practice social distancing. That has been a huge mechanism as far as stress relief for me.”

Dr. Brunson says Mississippi State Medical Association provides a safe avenue for health care workers during this difficult time.

Even establishing a COVID-19 physician support group for any physician seeking help.

“The first thing we have to do is not be afraid to ask for help. The most important thing we have to remembe: we will get through this,” said Dr. Quinn.