Resilience on the Front Lines

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During the COVID-19 pandemic, we’ve seen the impact of overburdened health systems pushed to the limit and the heart of those systems—YOU, our health and other essential workers—have risen to the occasion with remarkable expertise and determination despite the enormous risk. Your perseverance and commitment can come at a cost. We are all human, and the effects of stress and grief are real.

“In times of crisis we understand there is the tendency to deprioritize your own wellbeing...You must take care of yourself to take care of others...”
Dr. Michelle A Williams, Dean of the Faculty, Harvard T.H. Chan School of Public Health

The below resources have been curated based on scientific evidence and were put together by behavior health and mental health experts at Johnson & Johnson as part of the #FirstRespondersFirst initiative, a partnership with Harvard T.H. Chan School of Public Health, Thrive Global, and the CAA Foundation. Resources include health information, videos and articles that are most relevant to frontline health workers like you, during this unprecedented time. We hope these resources can help you learn how you experience stress and ways to better manage it in the moment, how to introduce recovery into your routine and take control of your emotional and physical health, and when to seek help when isolation and loneliness feel severe.

Finding Mental Health Help and Crisis Support
As a frontline health worker, you’re probably experiencing the type of stress that can cause people to feel overwhelmed, anxious, and depressed. These feelings are normal responses considering the crisis. However, when they last too long, impair your ability to function, reemerge from a previous condition, or present a significant risk to you or others, it’s a good time to get help.
Building a Stress Mindset
Building a Stress Mindset

You must take care of yourself in order to take care of others—put your oxygen mask on first before helping others. Hear from Dr. Michelle A Williams, Dean of the Faculty, Harvard T.H. Chan School of Public Health as she reminds us that self-care saves lives.

Resilience On the Front Lines

Finding Mental Health Help and Crisis Support
As a frontline health worker, you’re probably experiencing the type of stress that can cause people to feel overwhelmed, anxious, and depressed. These feelings are normal responses considering the crisis. However, when they last too long, impair your ability to function, reemerge from a previous condition, or present a significant risk to you or others, it’s a good time to get help.
Daily Healthy Actions
Daily Healthy Actions

As a frontline health worker, you’re doing essential work to keep others safe. At the same time, you may feel overwhelmed by the endurance required to be successful at your job these days. As you know more than others, human beings are not machines; biologically, we can’t just “go go go,” as Jack Groppel, Ph.D., co-founder of the Johnson & Johnson Human Performance Institute, says.

Watch this video to learn actionable steps you can take today to help introduce recovery to your routine. While you might not have control over how many patients you see or how many hours you work during a shift, you have more power than you realize to take control of your emotional and physical well-being.

Essential Advice for First Responders: How to Take Intentional Breaks and Reduce Stress

Finding Mental Health Help and Crisis Support
As a frontline health worker, you’re probably experiencing the type of stress that can cause people to feel overwhelmed, anxious, and depressed. These feelings are normal responses considering the crisis. However, when they last too long, impair your ability to function, reemerge from a previous condition, or present a significant risk to you or others, it’s a good time to get help.
Calming Practices
Calming Practices

Stress can affect your thoughts, emotions, and physical body. In the video below, Dr. Gahan Pandina, Clinical Psychologist and Senior Director and Compound Development Team Leader at Janssen Research & Development, covers three techniques to help you learn more about how you experience stress and ways to manage it in the moment. Dr. Pandina reminds us that “Mindfulness is all about finding the techniques, or technique, that’s best for you.” Try different techniques and find the ones that you can incorporate throughout your day.

3 Stress-Management Techniques for Front Line Workers

Finding Mental Health Help and Crisis Support
As a frontline health worker, you’re probably experiencing the type of stress that can cause people to feel overwhelmed, anxious, and depressed. These feelings are normal responses considering the crisis. However, when they last too long, impair your ability to function, reemerge from a previous condition, or present a significant risk to you or others, it’s a good time to get help.
Connecting to Others
Connecting to Others

As an expert in helping people unlock their potential through energy management and resilience training, Jenn Lea, performance coach at the Johnson & Johnson Human Performance Institute, reminds all frontline health workers to take care of themselves during this crisis. An important piece of that is how you’re connecting with others. In this video, Jenn Lea explains the importance of human connection and provides suggestions of how to connect with those around you, but also how to connect with yourself. If your sense of isolation and loneliness feels severe, please seek help.

How to Find Human Connection In a Physically Distant World

Finding Mental Health Help and Crisis Support
As a frontline health worker, you’re probably experiencing the type of stress that can cause people to feel overwhelmed, anxious, and depressed. These feelings are normal responses considering the crisis. However, when they last too long, impair your ability to function, reemerge from a previous condition, or present a significant risk to you or others, it’s a good time to get help.
Controlling What You Can
Controlling What You Can

The COVID-19 crisis has been full of unpredictable scenarios. Your work environment has likely become less predictable, the way you work and treat patients is probably different, and you have a lot less control than you used to. In this short video, Dr. Shekhar Saxena from the Harvard T.H. Chan School of Public Health, walks you through a few helpful actions you can explore to help protect you from the negative effects of feeling a lack of control, and begin to control what you can.

Controlling What You Can: Shekhar Saxena

Finding Mental Health Help and Crisis Support
As a frontline health worker, you’re probably experiencing the type of stress that can cause people to feel overwhelmed, anxious, and depressed. These feelings are normal responses considering the crisis. However, when they last too long, impair your ability to function, reemerge from a previous condition, or present a significant risk to you or others, it’s a good time to get help.
Building Hopeful Beliefs
Building Hopeful Beliefs

It is likely you have felt negative emotions and thoughts during the COVID-19 pandemic—know you are definitely not alone in these thoughts and feelings. Hear from Dr. Bernadette Melnyk from The Ohio State University as she simply and clearly breaks down the skills you can build through daily practice to help lower your stress and anxiety. She reminds us that how we think affects how we feel, and how we behave. If you find that your anxiety, stress, and depressive symptoms are interfering with your ability to function at work or outside of work, it’s important to reach out for help.

How to Build Hopeful Beliefs and Develop a Resilient Mindset

Finding Mental Health Help and Crisis Support
As a frontline health worker, you’re probably experiencing the type of stress that can cause people to feel overwhelmed, anxious, and depressed. These feelings are normal responses considering the crisis. However, when they last too long, impair your ability to function, reemerge from a previous condition, or present a significant risk to you or others, it’s a good time to get help.