Osmosis News

Osmosis & #FirstRespondersFirst Partnering on Mental Health Resources for Frontline Workers

Osmosis Team
Published on Jul 10, 2020. Updated on Sep 15, 2020.

Stress, depression, and burnout had a disproportionate impact on healthcare workers long before COVID-19, but the pandemic has brought the issue to a crisis point. Emergency rooms are filled to capacity, PPE and ventilators are in short supply, and many clinicians are having to relearn skills they haven’t used in years to accommodate for an insufficient supply of well-trained professionals. 

All of this is taking a toll, and we need to do something. At Osmosis, we’ve emphasized the need to raise the line and bolster the capacity of our healthcare system, but this work must extend beyond the clinic: stress doesn’t simply disappear at the end of a shift. We’re partnering with #FirstRespondersFirst to offer a range of free mental health resources for frontline healthcare workers to support them through this challenging time. 

The harmful archetype of “the tough physician” has only been amplified by the COVID-19 pandemic. It’s imperative that we use this moment to raise awareness about burnout amongst health professionals and change the narrative to show healthcare workers that it’s okay to ask for help.

What is #FirstRespondersFirst?

#FirstRespondersFirst is an initiative of the Harvard T.H. Chan School of Public Health, Thrive Global, and the CAA Foundation. #FirstRespondersFirst helps provide essential protective equipment, accommodations, childcare, food, mental health support, and other resources to healthcare workers serving on the frontlines of the COVID-19 pandemic. 

Powered by Thrive Global's behavior change platform, #FirstRespondersFirst provides access to Harvard Chan School’s evidence-based content, specifically tailored to this critical workforce, to help improve the physical and mental well-being of healthcare workers.

In addition to raising funds, #FirstRespondersFirst provides healthcare workers with concrete Microsteps—small, actionable and science-backed steps you can take to make immediate changes in your daily life—to help reduce their stress levels and improve their mental well-being. These Microsteps include: 

  1. Setting a news and social media cut-off time.

  2. Setting aside a few minutes of recovery time after a challenging moment. 

  3. Identifying your top “stressor signals” that remind you that your battery is running low.

Learn more about Microsteps in this free download from Thrive Global. 

What will this partnership look like?

Complimentary Osmosis access for frontline healthcare workers

We are currently working with #FirstRespondersFirst to offer extended free access to frontline health workers. Osmosis videos are an excellent way to brush up on pathology, physiology, pharmacology, and clinical reasoning skills, and they’re a valuable resource for educating  patients and their families, as well. 

Mental well-being webinar: Tips for Maximizing Psychological Health During Stressful Times

Dr. Amin Azzam, Clinical Psychiatrist and Director of Open Learning Initiatives at Osmosis, will be hosting a free webinar dedicated to fostering mental well-being among health professionals. During the event, Dr. Azzam will share strategies for maintaining mental balance, as well as answer any questions you might have about your own mental health journey.

Osmosis Health Education Impact Scholarship

As part of our relationship, #FirstRespondersFirst will help promote the Osmosis Health Education Impact Scholarship. $10,000 in scholarship prizes—one $5,000 award and five $1,000 awards—will be offered to students studying health and medicine. As part of the application process, students are being invited to share how they plan to integrate one of the six Osmosis values—Start With the Heart, Spread Joy, Reach Further, Open Your Arms, Have Each Others Backs, and Imagine More—into their future clinical practice. 

First responders heading back to school for additional training are eligible for this award, so we hope you will consider sharing your stories with us!

Stories from the frontlines

In order to change the conversation around healthcare workers and mental health, it’s important to highlight these experiences and show that they’re not simply isolated incidents. One way we can do that is by sharing stories from healthcare workers working on the frontlines of the pandemic. By providing a platform to share their struggles and successes, we’re hoping to build empathy and show exactly why it’s so important to care for our caregivers. 

Look out for these stories on our resources page.

Free CME/CE-accredited course: COVID-19 - What You Need to Know

The Osmosis Content team has developed a completely free course on the diagnosis and management of COVID-19. Open to all, this course is designed to show people how to recognize when someone has COVID-19 and take the necessary steps to ensure they receive treatment, whether that’s by managing milder symptoms at home, or heading to the hospital for professional care. Health professionals who complete this course are eligible for 3 CME credits.


We are honored to partner with #FirstRespondersFirst on this vital initiative. For more information, please visit our resources page.

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