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The COVID-19 Experience of Health Workers at U.S. Free and Charitable Clinics

Health workers at U.S. free and charitable clinics care for their low-income, under- and uninsured patients, even as they bear the burden of their own stress during the COVID-19 pandemic.

Health workers must provide care for their patient communities, uphold rigorous infection controls and negotiate the pandemic’s impact on their colleagues and families. 

To support the mental health of frontline health workers, Americares teamed up with partners the Aetna Foundation and #FirstRespondersFirst (an initiative of the Harvard T.H. Chan School of Public Health, Thrive Global, and Creative Artists Agency Foundation). Together, we provided mental health support and training to health workers at free and charitable clinics. The initiative supported health workers in building resilience through training, techniques and tools such as teletherapy.

Meet these health heroes and read their stories, which reveal both personal challenges and steps they’ve taken to better care for their own and their patients’ mental health amid the pandemic and beyond.