BROOKLYN, N.Y. – Music therapy is one of the mental health services offered by Woodhull Hospital. Normally, patients meet in groups. That’s not possible because of the highly contagious coronavirus. So the staff banded together virtually to create this music video to the song “Lean On Me.”

The video is not just aimed at patients; it’s also intended for Woodhull staff members working on the frontlines in fighting the pandemic.

“Even though it’s linear and you see one person after another, you get this sense of commuity. What it did for people is it boosted morale and really gave people a sense of purpose and affiliation to the larger group”, said Woodhull Creative Arts Therapist Nir Sadovnik.

The psychiatrists and other department professionals say they need uplifting too as they’re now working in critical areas.

“We had a lot of people learning how to put on PPE. A psychologist generally have to do that so we had to learn how to don and doff and really move more into the medical field,” said Woodhull Director of Psychiatry Services Dr. Carla D’Aiello.

Along with the video, a wellness room was created on the hospital’s 5th floor for workers to relax and regroup. Counseling is available and a hotline was set up for staff support. 

“Usually when you come to the hospital, you’re here to help and support a patient through their illness. It’s not something that you yourself are going through,” D’Aiello said.

As mental health professionals are dealing with their own stress, many say they’re also seeing more acute cases among their patients during the COVID-19 crisis.

“The ones that are really having trouble usually because multiple family members are sick. Those are the ones that we’re really putting more energy towards because they need more intensive support,” said Dr. Betty Lau, Director of Child and Adolescent Psychiatry.

Health care workers say they’ve increased check-in calls to their patients’ homes and shared their video with patients, staff members and New York City Health + Hospitals, which oversees Woodhull.

“It was really able to connect with the joy of providing our services with the joy of being here present for people who really need us,” D’Aiello said. 

Source: Spectrum News NY1 | Brooklyn