Inside Disruption Blog

Combatting COVID-Related Isolation Through R3c's Outreach Support

Sarah Hathaway, LMSW
May 11, 2020



As COVID-19 case counts grow and stay-at-home orders are extended in many states throughout the U.S., individuals are finding that while resilience may come, it doesn’t always come easily. With many facing competing priorities, limited access to support systems, and feelings of isolation, existing coping skills may, at times, seem insufficient for enduring a long-term crisis. More than ever, a focus on behavioral health is essential, and we may even need to evolve our standard mental health approaches.


Over the last several weeks of serving employees across the country — whether they were performing critical roles in their communities or transitioning to remote work — many have reported feeling disconnected from their support systems. This disconnect that people feel is often accompanied by a perception that one’s desire for human connection is a burden to others, or that their struggles shouldn’t require assistance. Unfortunately, assumptions like this tend to keep people from reaching out for support and perpetuating the issue further. While there are many behavioral health resources available to individuals who take the initiative to seek them out, taking that first step can feel daunting for many.


In order to address this barrier, many employers have turned to telephonic outreach services to provide proactive support to employees exhibiting signs of stress. Such services promote self-awareness and resilience by offering a discreet platform for assessing one’s reactions and implementing strategies for improved coping. R3c takes a unique approach to telephonic support, conducting outreach to the identified individual and following up when they may be struggling to reach out themselves. This approach reduces the sense of isolation and offers multiple points of support for an ongoing and evolving situation. As employers and service organizations consider behavioral health service models to meet the needs of a country impacted by a pandemic, the need for outreach should not be overlooked.


Ensure the physical and psychological safety and security of your organization. Talk to us.

Sarah Hathaway, LMSW

Manager, Clinical Consult Center

Sarah Hathaway is a licensed social worker (LMSW) with a Master of Social Work from Grand Valley State University and a Bachelor of Science in Sociology from Michigan State University. With over a decade in social and behavioral health services, Sarah has previously worked within public school programs, the child welfare system, and mental health non-profit organizations, supporting children and adults of diverse backgrounds and abilities. She is trained in trauma-informed care and is a mentor to R3’s disruptive event management network. As the manager of the Clinical Consult Center, Sarah oversees the telephonic crisis response services delivered to impacted workers immediately following a disruptive event. She has provided support to individuals affected by events such as robberies, transportation incidents, mass shootings and natural disasters. Her philosophy for service delivery is based on the ideas that returning to work and routine are vital to one’s recovery, and occupational health is an integral part of mental health treatment.