FREQUENTLY ASKED QUESTIONS
What is the Frontline Help program?
FrontlineHelp.org is a non-profit collective of coaching organizations offering free support calls to frontline staff who are dealing with stresses of working through the pandemic.
We know that frontline healthcare workers and first responders are experiencing an extraordinary physical, emotional and mental burden as they lead the fight against Covid-19 on our behalf, and the hard work is likely to continue for many months yet. To help frontline staff navigate these challenging times, we are giving them free access to calls with experienced coaches who can offer a listening ear and expert advice on stress management. Several world-class coaching organizations have joined forces to make sure that there are plenty of experienced coaches available to provide this kind of support. They include the Institute of Coaching (at Harvard-affiliated McLean), the global Wellcoaches network, and a number of chapters of the International Coach Federation.
How are you connecting frontline staff with coaches?
We are using an existing platform called wiseHer. It's a social enterprise and global knowledge marketplace that helps professionals overcome challenges by giving them access to thousands of expert advisors, coaches, and mentors. The platform is already set up to allow users to request 30- or 60-minute one-to-one conference call with a coach, which has enabled us to get this service up and running quickly.
Are the sessions free?
Yes, thanks to the generosity of many people. Coaches are generously giving their time for free. wiseHer are in turn donating their platform to make it possible for healthcare workers to connect with coaches on their platform for free. The running costs of the initiative are being funded via the wiseHer Foundation, a 501c3 (non-profit) project of the Giving Back Fund. AT&T has provided sponsorship support to cover our running costs.
As a result, frontline staff who sign up with wiseHer will be given a 100% discount code that enables them to zero out the cost of calls on the platform. Our hope is that we will have enough funding to run the program for the rest of 2020.
The only cost that users might incur is a charge from their phone provider for making the call itself. But in most cases, calls to our phone number are included in the cost of normal phone packages.
Who qualifies for this help?
Anyone who is on the front lines serving during the pandemic: doctors, nurses, aides, hospital office workers, janitorial staff, EMTs and more. We want to help those who are helping so many.
How exactly does it work?
Frontline staff register on the platform, and then browse the list of experts who have offered to give "healthcare worker coaching". They choose a coach that seems a good fit based on their profile and location.
They request a 30 or 60 minute call with that coach, giving three ideal dates/times for the call. Coaches will of course confirm one of the three requested times if at all possible, or suggest an alternative.
Once a time is agreed, a confirmation is sent to both parties via email and SMS, with a conference line phone number and an access code. At the confirmed time, both parties call the conference number and have their conversation.
Is this program international?
Yes. We’re mainly US-based but we do have coaches from around the world. We currently have US and UK conference call numbers available, and we are working on getting other international numbers in place.
In the meantime, if you are calling from a country that is not the US or UK, our best suggestion is that you Skype or use another free VOIP solution to call into the conference line. Some users have reported delays in the voice responses due to this approach, so it's not suggested if it can be avoided, but it does mean you can avoid long-distance call charges this way.
Are your experts certified?
We ask our coaches to list their credentials on their profile. Most have completed a course that is accredited by the ICF, EMCC, AC, APECS, IAPC&M, NBHWC or Wellcoaches. We're not able to independently verify each individual’s certifications, but the vast majority of the coaches signing up to offer Frontline Help have come to us through partnerships with well-reputed coaching organizations that have high standards of training and conduct, including the Institute of Coaching and several ICF chapters.
Can frontline staff schedule calls with other experts, not just coaches?
Yes. wiseHer has opened up its entire platform to people in frontline roles at no charge. That means there are experts on many topics available, ranging from financial planning to advice on resume/CV writing.
Is my contact information kept private?
Yes. One benefit of this program is that all calls and messages are made through the wiseHer central platform. This means users and coaches do not receive the other party’s personal contact details, unless they mutually choose to share them during a call. Contact information is only utilized for correspondence and notifications relating to bookings on the platform. wiseHer does not give or sell its members' data to any third party companies.
Is psychotherapy available on the wiseHer platform?
wiseHer is not licensed to provide medical advice, so its coaches are not able to provide psychotherapy or advice on managing mental illness. They can provide a skilled listening ear and advice on how to manage stress through this challenging time. Examples of things that coaches can do:
• Reflective listening to help people process what’s going on;
• Helping people identify and focus on what they are able to control;
• Encouraging and advising on self-care, within the constraints of the current working environment;
• Giving people guidance on simple techniques they can use to stay calm under pressure;
• Helping people reconnect to the things that matter most to them;
• Showing deep appreciation for all they’re doing, on behalf of all of us.
If a caller is in clear distress, coaches will immediately refer them to services that provide deeper help, for example local suicide prevention and crisis support via text or phone call.
Can people book more than one session with the same coach?
We are of course delighted if you find someone who feels like a good fit, and you can book them again on the wiseHer site by searching for their name. We can’t absolutely guarantee that they will be available again, since we’re expecting coaches to donate their time around their other family and work commitments and they may have periods when it’s not possible for them to provide support. But we have hundreds of good coaches on the site so if your first choice isn't available, there's almost certainly else who will be great for you to speak to.
Does the quality of the call get rated?
After the call concludes, frontline users will be prompted to review their experience. This will help us see how well the system is working, allowing us to make improvements if needed and give feedback (and appreciation) to the coach if appropriate. If you have specific suggestions, please feel free to email the wiseHer team at firstname.lastname@example.org.