County Forms Go Teams, Providing ‘Psychological First Aid’ to Combat Covid Stress

Experts agree: the fear, economic uncertainty, stress and extreme isolation associated with the Covid-19 pandemic has had a significant effect on many people’s mental health.

Mary Rumbaugh, director of the Clackamas County Behavioral Health Division, said everyone has experienced changes as a result of this pandemic. Those changes can come in a variety of forms.

“Concern about becoming ill, loss of employment, the closure of businesses and the restrictions on our ability to personally connect with one another have already created significant and difficult emotional challenges for members of our community,” she said. “To prevent long-term impacts, it is important that people have an outlet to talk about what’s going on for them and receive some emotional support.”

To combat this Covid-related stress, Clackamas County has recently formed “Go Teams.” These are teams of county staff members go out into the community to help individuals and families struggling with anxiety, unemployment, grief and a host of other emotional and social problems that are becoming more and more common during this time that the world is responding to Covid-19.

“The idea behind Go Teams is that they are mobile, they provide psychological first aid rather than therapy or case management,” said Dr. Jeffrey Anderson, a supervisor with the Behavioral Health Division. “They are able to meet people where they are at. The team helps by easing distress and ultimately seeking to prevent PTSD and suicide by assisting early on during this pandemic.”

These services, available Monday through Friday, are provided in the safest way possible. Teams use personal protective equipment (PPE) like masks, face shields, gloves and hand sanitizer and physical distancing.

To access the Go Team service, call 503-655-8585. For a full list of services, go to to explore some of the ways you or a loved one can receive support today.

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