WeCare About Our Team by Providing 24/7 Emotional Support

The WeCare program is available to all clinicians and team members throughout our network that may have experienced an unexpected outcome or stressful event.

The program is available 24 hours a day, 7 days a week, to provide “emotional first aid” by team members specially trained in immediate peer support.

If you or a colleague need someone to talk to about an unexpected outcome or event, we are here to help.

Call 844-642-2665.

Program highlights include:

• The program is available to physicians, nurses, clinicians, technicians, team members, residents, students and volunteers. This program and services are not intended for patients or their families.
• Support is provided through a peer-to-peer network and is confidential, discreet and non-judgmental.

You don’t have to go through these circumstances by yourself… the WeCare team is here to help.

Note: The WeCare program and phone number is NOT a crisis intervention line. Should you or a colleague need crisis intervention, please call the crisis hotline for your location.

Welcome to the WeCare program

At Hackensack Meridian Health, our extraordinary team of affiliated physicians, nurses, clinicians, technicians, team members, students and volunteers work together to selflessly provide care, service, and support to the communities we serve.

As nurses, physicians, health care professionals, and team members, you take pride in ensuring your patients and our guests receive the best care, a job that is stressful under the best circumstances. When you or a colleague are involved in an unexpected outcome or event, it can bother you.

That’s why we developed the WeCare Program, a confidential support network you can access 24-7 if you have experienced or been affected by a stressful event or unanticipated outcome.

How You May be Affected

You may be experiencing a variety of symptoms, replaying events in your head over and over, or simply not feeling like yourself.
Symptoms of stress can be manifested in a variety of ways including:

• Withdrawal from social interactions
• Irritability
• Sleep disturbances
• Loss of appetite or over-eating
• Difficulty concentrating or a reluctance to return to work
• Fatigue
• Doubt

There are many other symptoms, or you may be feeling you may not be capable of providing your best care or service. It can happen to anyone from the most seasoned professional practicing medicine for decades to a food service, security, maintenance, housekeeping team member or even a volunteer. Any time a case or interaction doesn’t go as expected, the WeCare team is there to lean on, talk with, and provide comfort that only a peer colleague can.

Resilience in the Face of Stress

The WeCare program addresses stressors and issues that are sometimes referred to as the “second victim phemonenon”. It is a term often associated with first responders, military, police, firefighters, and others witnessing and experiencing events that the average person or your family will never encounter.

However, this phenomenon can affect any care provider or team member, in any part of the organization, this includes hospitals, inpatient care facilities, medical offices, outpatient care facilities, home health care and hospice providers, as well as team members in pharmacies, patient transportation, EMS, administrative, and training roles.

Our program was developed to be a quick-response resource to help our peers and colleagues in a confidential and discreet way, and be available 24/7 to provide non-judgmental and caring support.

How the WeCare program will help you:

• Provide “emotional first aid” to our colleagues and team members who may have been involved in or experienced an unexpected or stressful event.
• Provide one-on-one peer support and explore the team member’s normal reactions and feelings that often occur after a stressful or traumatic event.
• Provide a non-judgmental “safe zone” to express thoughts and reactions to enhance coping.
• Provide the colleague with assurance that he or she is experiencing a normal reaction.
• Ensure that information shared is strictly confidential.

The WeCare program provides peer support aligned with positive coping techniques:

• Acknowledge that it is normal to experience some unexpected reactions to a stressful event.
• Give yourself permission to react; don’t try and hide your feelings or concerns.
• Eat regularly, and minimize use of caffeine and sugar.
• Though it may be difficult, exercise or physical activity can aid relaxation and alleviate some physical reactions to stress.
• Avoid self-medication and the use of alcohol or drugs.

When you call the WeCare number, a specially trained peer responder will reach out to you from the facility or location closest to you. Please note that the WeCare program and phone number is not a crisis intervention line. Should you or a colleague need crisis intervention, please call the crisis hotline for your location.

The WeCare Program is available for any team member or clinician at, or affiliated with Hackensack Meridian Health, who was involved in an unexpected stressful event or outcome.

Our confidential counselling is available at: 1-844-642-2665.

If you have general questions about the program please contact the Risk Management leader for your site or business unit.