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Donor-funded Peer Support Program for Caregivers Continues to Impact Lives

August 26, 2020

Update as of March 30, 2021: RISE (Resilience in Stressful Events) continues to meet an essential need for Denver Health employees working through emotionally challenging situations. In fact, since RISE launched in January 2020, there have been more than 83,000 visits to the RISE UP Staff Support Center. This dedicated space, staffed by RISE peer responders, fosters self-care, reflection, emotional support, and access to resources, snacks, and beverages. Donor support has made this service possible by funding staff in the RISE UP Center and providing for resources and other items. Denver Health caregivers also continue to utilize the 24/7 call lines, virtual and in-person group support, and one-on-one peer response meetings for assistance.

What’s the next big health crisis?

According to many health organizations, it’s one closely tied to COVID-19: a nationwide mental health crisis. Everyone has lived through stressful experiences these past few months, and one group that’s been particularly hard hit is our frontline heroes – the doctors, nurses, paramedics, and other caregivers who have shown up for our community every day throughout this pandemic.

According to the Annals of Internal Medicine, one of the most widely cited and influential medical journals in the nation, “Leaders should anticipate a surge of mental health concerns among healthcare workers at all levels.”

The RISE program (Resilience in Stressful Events) has been Denver Health’s answer to the influx in mental health needs within our hospital community. The program was relatively new to Denver Health when the pandemic began earlier this year and has been a source of relief for many employees.

In fact, there have been over 33,000 visits to the RISE UP Zone (a component of the RISE program that provides a dedicated space within the hospital for caregivers to decompress) since April 1, with 378 individuals involved in group support, and nearly 200 outreach calls made.

Many of our donors have helped make this program possible. Over $350,000 has been provided to the program through the Denver Health Foundation’s COVID-19 Urgent Relief Fund, and thousands of in-kind donations have been gifted to the RISE UP room. Because we continue to see a pressing need for the program and anticipate a surge in mental health issues in the coming months, the RISE program will continue to depend on donations to support our Denver Health employees who take care of our community every day.

If you’d like to continue making a difference in the lives of our frontline workers and all employees at Denver Health, click here to make a donation.

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