Marissa, New York
Tell us a little about yourself!
I am an entrepreneur seeking to transform the world of work through the power of compassion, human connection, and joy. My business, Reloveution, launched last October, and we have lost the majority of our paid contracts as a result of the pandemic. I am steadfastly committed to compassionate action during this time, regardless of income, and hope to be able to continue supporting first responders and the communities of which I am part.
Tell us about your #MakeWaves project.
We launched a national initiative about six-weeks ago to match volunteer mental health practitioners with first responders, healthcare professionals, and their families.
Our volunteer corps stretches across 47 states and has worked with over 100 frontline workers in the last month. We would like to expand this initiative to work directly with EMS and nursing unions to have volunteers reach out DIRECTLY to members rather than waiting until they are in crisis.
In NY, there have been four first responder deaths by suicide in the last week, and we believe a more proactive approach that requires no work from the people who are working so hard, will help us reach the people who need us most.
Who inspired you?
The pilot of this initiative will be focused on first responders and nurses, although we hope to expand as we learn and grow. My sister is a paramedic in New Rochelle, NY (the original epicenter of NY's COVID-19 outbreak).
In the early days of the pandemic, before anyone was taking it seriously, I noticed that she was demonstrating increased stress, anxiety, and anger.
I asked her how I could help, and we came up with the idea to find 10 volunteer mental health professionals to support her union members.
I put out ONE call on March 16 and within 24-hours, we had over 100 volunteers. Reloveution's Emotional Support Program was born.
My sister was recently featured in Time Magazine and you can read her feature! We would be so grateful for any and all support.
We are committed to giving back to the people who are giving us so much, and recognize that the mental health toll on first responders and healthcare professionals is going to last far longer than economic shut-downs. For many, the horror of this pandemic is just beginning. We're here for the long haul.
Your message to the community:
In this time of uncertainty and fear, it is more important than ever to look out for each other. As restrictions ease across the United States, Reloveution encourages you to remember that we are still in the middle of a physical crisis and just the beginning of the emotional one for so many.
Right now, first responders and healthcare professionals (and so many others) are at increased risk for depression, anxiety, suicides, PTSD, and substance abuse. Reloveution has launched a national initiative to match frontline workers with volunteer mental health practitioners for listening sessions designed to alleviate acute stress and ease the emotional burdens of the people putting their lives on the line for us every day. People can access services online.
We encourage people to understand the impacts of their behaviors, to keep their eyes and hearts open, and to work to elevate compassionate action whenever and wherever possible. Reloveution is here for the long haul as your partner in compassion, connection, and joy.