Hotline provides support to families, healthcare workers during pandemic

Many families have been left to deal with the loss of a loved one during the COVID-19 pandemic, and a new hotline focuses on helping people recover emotionally.

The grief hotline is run by the hospice care provider VITAS and launches Tuesday. It will provide bereavement services to healthcare workers and people who may be grieving.

“Families are talking about how different this type of loss is by not being able to be with their loved one so VITAS thought it was extremely important to be there to support our community,” said Dr. Joseph Shega, chief medical officer at VITAS.

More than 50 specialists who have worked with those affected by mass shootings and other major events will be available to take calls from 4 p.m. to 10 p.m. through May 29.

“We have vast experience in helping support our community during these unprecedented times,” Shega said.

The hotline is also about ensuring those in need do not leave grief unaddressed, which could lead to other health concerns, such as  stress and sleep deprivation.

“Starting to talk through some of their stories and experiences can really help them connect to their grief and find a path forward.”

The VITAS hotline is toll-free at 866-800-4707. Other resources are available at the VITAS website.

More Coronavirus news

Looking for more information? D.C., Maryland and Virginia are each releasing more data every day. Visit their official sites here: Virginia | Maryland | D.C.

Melissa Howell

Melissa Howell joined WTOP Radio in March 2018 and is excited to cover stories that matter across D.C., as well as in Maryland and Virginia. 

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