Methodist creates support group to help people dealing with effects of COVID-19

Methodist offering mental health support group during COVID-19 pandemic

MEMPHIS, Tenn. (WMC) - Over 1,000 people have died from COVID-19 in Shelby County. WMC Action News 5 spoke with one woman who lost her husband to the virus.

She shared her story and the way a support group is helping her grieving family.

“I took him to the ER on Tuesday before Thanksgiving,” said Connie Marshall a COVID-19 survivor. “They thought he would be there a couple of days.”

In the fall of 2020 three members of the Marshall family tested positive for COVID-19.

Marshall, her eldest teen son and her husband John.

“Sunday before Thanksgiving he got a really bad cough,” she said.

John was in the hospital for weeks fighting the virus.

“He wasn’t just a 69-year-old man who had COVID. He was a 69-year-old man with two teenage boys,” she said.

John Marshall died on Dec. 19.

“He was a great dad, a great husband, great friend,” said Marshall.

Since then, Marshall has looked for support groups in Shelby County.

“Our family is destroyed,” she told WMC. “I’m just looking for some support, to talk to somebody else that’s been through this, and maybe help somebody else.”

That need for connection is why Methodist Le Bonheur Healthcare started a COVID-19 survivors mental health support group in December.

“As a survivor that means they’ve had the diagnosis and are still dealing with the after-effects, the emotional after-effects, whether it be depression, anxiety, sleep problems, some cognitive difficulties which we’ve been learning more about lately,” said Dr. Judiann Jones, Methodist Clinical Psychologist.

The group is held virtually, participants can join at any time and they have two option to pay out of pocket or through insurance.

Jones said their progress is tracked over a span of eight weeks.

“The biggest thing, and this is a part of my research and working with Trauma recovery and understanding the underlying things for resources, is finding support is most essential and most important,” said Jones.

While Marshall continues to look for groups that can meet her family’s needs, she also credits her neighbors with stepping up.

They’ve rallied around us in an amazing way,” she said.

For those looking to join the COVID-19 support group with Methodist, call 901-567-7415.

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