May 2, 2020 | 3:55pm
An EMS worker transports a patient to Bronx-Lebanon Hospital in The Bronx.
Battle-scarred healthcare workers are calling state volunteers at a rate of more than once every hour for help dealing with the devastating emotional toll of witnessing death en masse, The Post has learned.
The state’s COVID-19 Emotional Support Helpline fielded 380 calls from healthcare workers pushed to the brink by the pandemic from April 15-28, according to the state Office of Mental Health. That’s an average of 29 per day.
The disturbing influx was revealed days after two city medical workers, Bronx EMT John Modello, 23, and New York-Presbyterian Allen Hospital ER Dr. Lorna Breen, 49, committed suicide after weeks of working with coronavirus patients.
Gov. Cuomo debuted the hotline March 25, warning New Yorkers not to “underestimate the emotional trauma that people are feeling, and the emotional health issues.”
The free service is staffed by 6,000 volunteers.
From March 26-April 21, a total of 8,350 callers from across the state dialed into the 1-844-863-9314 hotline open to anyone dealing with a coronavirus-induced emotional issues.
Callers include an anxious woman with trouble sleeping, a high schooler overwhelmed by virtual learning and a canceled graduation ceremony, and an uninsured woman who couldn’t afford counseling, said Office of Mental Health spokesman James Plastiras.
Realizing that “healthcare workers and first responders were clearly facing extraordinary and unique challenges due to the COVID-19 pandemic,” the state added the transfer-option for healthcare workers on April 15, Plastiras explained.
In the wake of the deaths of Mondello on April 24 and Breen on April 26, Mayor de Blasio also announced a mental health program for healthcare workers that will involve “combat stress” counseling from military trauma experts.