As the novel coronavirus (COVID-19) outbreak continues to impact our region, we want to keep you informed on the work the American Red Cross is doing to fulfill our mission and support our partners during this health crisis.
Mental Health First Aid for COVID-19
The novel coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic is challenging individuals and families in new ways. Mental health first aid, the practice of recognizing and responding to people experiencing crisis-related stress, can be used to help yourself and others to cope in the face of stressful events.
To help, the American Red Cross is offering a free Mental Health First Aid for COVID-19 online only course during the pandemic.
The course content is based on guidance from the American Red Cross Scientific Advisory Council, the Center for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), and the American Academy of Pediatrics (AAP). This online course is designed for anyone interested in learning techniques for supporting mental health during the COVID-19 crisis. Topics include:
Humanity in War
Also now available online: a free course to train policy professionals, government officials, academics, and the general public on the fundamental principles of international humanitarian law.
This course prepares participants to recognize key concepts in international humanitarian law, including:
Critical need for Diverse Blood
Right now, African American blood donors are critically needed to help patients battling sickle cell disease following a significant decrease in diverse donors amid this coronavirus outbreak.
Unfortunately, since mid-March we have seen the number of African American blood donors drop by more than half. Understandably, we believe this number has decreased in large part due to blood drive cancellations at businesses, churches and schools, as well as disproportionate COVID-19 infection rates for African Americans compared to other ethnicities.
While we recognize this challenge, the Red Cross needs the help of African American blood donors to ensure a diverse blood supply. Blood transfused to patients with rare blood types, like those with sickle cell disease, must be matched very closely to reduce the risk of complications.
Without a readily available blood supply, sickle cell patients can experience severe pain, tissue and organ damage, acute anemia and even strokes. Furthermore, sickle cell patients are at high risk of serious complications from coronavirus infection and blood transfusion can be a lifesaving treatment for these patients.
This is the time to take care of one another, and blood donation is essential to ensuring the health of those in our community. If you are feeling well, please make an appointment to give by using the Red Cross Blood Donor App, visiting RedCrossBlood.org or calling 1-800-RED CROSS.
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