Mental Health COVID: Behind the Front Lines – Seniors & First Responders

Updated: 5 days ago


Welcome to the Executive Innovation Show Podcast, brought to you by One Touch Telehealth. During this podcast hear host Carrie Chitsey, with Becky Brown and Rebecca Werner. For #MentalHealthAwarenessMonth, listen to Mental Health COVID: Behind the Front Lines – Seniors & First Responders. 


Becky Brown, LCSW, SUDC has been working with Valley Behavioral Health since 1997 in various capacities, including both clinical and operational. She is now the Chief Operating Officer and has used her expertise to support the operations team and the continued growth of the company as the healthcare landscape continues to rapidly change. One of the most recent developments her and her team have been working on is an e-therapy subscription, allowing Valley's Highland Spring Specialty Clinics to reach more markets and help a larger array of people.


Rebecca Werner is the Chief of Operations for Whitemarsh Community Ambulance Association (WCAA), the primary 911 Advanced Life Support (ALS) ambulance serving Whitemarsh Township in Montgomery County Pennsylvania. She previously served as the Deputy Chief of WCAA from 2016-2017. She is a National Registered EMT-Paramedic and began her career in Emergency Medical Services in 2009. Rebecca has a Bachelor’s Degree in Political Science from Penn State University. She lives in Philadelphia with her 3 year old daughter and 2 German Shepherds.


Listen to this episode of The Executive Innovation Show Podcast as we discuss: 

  • The mental health crisis has risen with the recent COVID pandemic. We talk with Becky Brown, the COO of Valley Behavioral Health, about what the past two months have looked like. Has she seen any changes in mental health? And what demographics are being largely affected? Becky states that their behavioral health organization has had to pivot heavily to telehealth services. 

  • How can we serve and have a conversation about mental health to the senior population who are in home health or aging at home? Listen as Becky Brown states the steps Valley Behavioral Health is taking to look after it’s senior population. How can you extend the reach of behavioral health during isolation? 

  • With the new requirement of a telepsych evaluation as a senior patient comes into a facility, what is Becky Brown’s prediction on the future of mental health post-COVID for seniors? How will telepsych visits change everything? 

  • While telehealth is not one-size-fits-all, there has been enough exposure to this virtual care method to know that telehealth does work! Post-COVID, will we see a hybrid model/blended model of in-person visits and telehealth appointments? Will we see a surge in creativity on how to care for patients? 

  • Listen as Rebecca Werner, Chief of Operations for Whitemarsh Community Ambulance Association, talks about being on the front lines of COVID as a first responder and how life has changed for them. She details the whirlwind of the first couple of weeks, with constant policy changes and fear of the unknown. 

  • While on the front lines, first responders still have a family at home. How do they deal with the thought of potentially bringing COVID home with them and manage that anxiety?      

  • “Life as we know it has changed.” Rebecca Werner describes the daily changes that have happened since COVID. From laundry at the station to not bringing work clothes home, hear how daily routines have been uprooted. 

  • Mental health for first responders is huge. How do you keep employees' mental health a priority post-COVID? Carrie and Rebecca discuss the advantages of peer-to-peer support and the benefits it will have for EMTs post-COVID. 

  • Rebecca Werner details the importance of talking about mental health issues. How do we rid the stigma? Comparing it to the phrase “No crying in baseball.”, hear the steps Rebecca takes to make sure her team is taking care of their mental health.        

  • As always, we ask Becky and Rebecca, what’s keeping them up at night. Hear their answers on the podcast. 

Stay up to date with Becky Brown and Valley Cares by checking out their e-therapy solutions


Keep up with Rebecca Werner, the Chief of Operations for Whitemarsh Community Ambulance Association (WCAA).


Learn more about One Touch Telehealth and how telehealth can be beneficial for mental health during COVID-19. Download the “Telemental Health and Its Impact on the Future of Behavioral Health" White Paper




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