Director's Message

February 2021

To the friends and supporters of DSH,

COVID-19 has touched our lives in countless ways and brought emotional distress and loss to our nation and our communities. The pandemic’s toll on patients and their families has been enormous. Our entire DSH family mourns together as a community and extends its deepest sympathies to those who lost a son, daughter, sister, brother, partner or parent during the pandemic.

In February, DSH staff and patients observed a Moment of Silence at our hospitals. Our patients and staff will have the opportunity to contribute to a system-wide virtual Healing Quilt to honor those who passed and help survivors begin the long process of healing.

The journey through grief is personal, and each person mourns in their own way at their own pace. Social support and connection help with grieving and healing, but pandemic restrictions have stripped many of us of the ability to say goodbye or conduct memorials that help us grieve and heal together. These disruptions of our usual social connections may cause grief to be even more intense and emotionally painful. It is not uncommon for family members to experience shock, disbelief, helplessness, depression, anxiety, anger, regret and guilt.

We wish for healing for all who have experienced loss during this challenging time. Grieving is always difficult, but there are things that help. Connecting with others, finding a safe space in which to share memories and express loss, seeking spiritual support, and asking for help when needed can help individuals navigate through loss. We offer resources below, to help families cope with bereavement and grief. Please reach out and connect, ask for help if you need it and know that you are not alone.

Important Phone Numbers:

  • Red Cross Disaster Distress Helpline (800) 985-5990
    Call or text. This 24/7 national hotline provides immediate crisis counseling for people who are experiencing emotional distress related to any disaster or COVID-19.

  • SAMHSA National Helpline 1-800-662-HELP (4357)
    Free, confidential service for individuals and family members facing mental and/or substance use disorders. 24 hours/day, 365 days/year, English and Spanish. Provides information and referrals to local treatment facilities, support groups, and community-based organizations.

  • National Suicide Prevention Lifeline (800) 273-8255
    Provides 24/7, free and confidential support for people in distress, prevention and crisis resources for you or your loved ones. You can also text to 838255.

  • Crisis Text Line 741741
    Text “Home” to 741741. Two automated responses arrive invite you to share a bit more. Within a few minutes you’ll be connected to a live Crisis Counselor. Counselors are trained volunteers, not licensed professionals - they can provide support, but not medical advice.

Helpful Websites


Stephanie Clendenin