Resilience Strength Time (ReST)

If you're front-line care worker interested in registering for a VOA ReST conversation:

If you're a Hospital & Health Care System, Long-term Care Provider, or Medical Practice that would like to provide a VOA ReST program for your team:


Amidst the current global COVID-19 pandemic, exposure to moral distress has increased enormously for front line workers in long-term care and medicine. Left unaddressed, moral distress can become moral injury, and the losses in employee well-being and retention will be felt for years to come.

Volunteers of America has adapted its pioneering peer-support work on moral injury to provide front line care workers an opportunity to process moral distress in an online environment. Resilience Strength Time (ReST) is based upon the evidence-based approach for U.S. military veterans called Resilience Strength Training, developed by VOA’s Shay Moral Injury Center and tested for two years.

Long-term care and medical worker in COVID-19 face conditions akin to battlefield medicine with similar risks for moral injury:

    • Desperate demands to keep working with few breaks or pauses
    • Unrelenting, unavoidable encounters with an invisible lethal enemy
    • Extreme physical and mental fatigue
    • High personal danger due to inadequate protective equipment
    • Equipment and supply shortages requiring improvised strategies
    • Overwhelming numbers of patients who die without human comfort
    • Self-serving or uninformed decisions by supervisors or leaders who increase the dangers to front line workers
    • The need to triage the sickest patients, deciding who-lives and who-dies.

Under such conditions, maintaining professional standards of compassionate care and upholding the mandate to do no harm are profoundly compromised. Without a chance to address feelings of moral distress and to restore their inner equilibrium, workers are at risk for moral injury in the aftermath of this pandemic. Accumulations of moral distress over time deepen into the destruction of integrity and character called moral injury. It is characterized by emotions such as shame, guilt, humiliation, fury, despair, self-loathing, sorrow, and a loss of trust.

ReST guides small online groups of 6-12 participants to engage together in a peer-facilitated process designed to discharge work-related distress and to enable rediscovery of positive commitments to their professional field. The confidential group conversations are available seven days a week, with a variety of times suited to shift work. A clinical staff member provides oversight of facilitator teams. Developed by an expert team led by Dr. Rita N. Brock, Director of the Shay Moral Injury Center at Volunteers of America, this telehealth program provides support, wherever it is needed, to fortify the moral resilience of those on the front-lines of pandemic and disaster relief work.

June 2020: ReST for Volunteers of America Long Term Care Workers

July 2020: ReST for New York City Front-line Care Workers

August – December 2020: Coming Soon


  • Dr. Cynda Hylton Rushton

    Johns Hopkins Berman Institute of Bioethics and the School of Nursing

  • Peer Support Solutions

    Leader in customizable and secure mobile and web-based peer-to-peer support video and chat software platform for healthcare

  • Dr. Timothy Barth

    Texas Christian University Professor of Pscyhology and Research Director for the Resilience Strength TrainingTM Program

  • LeadingAge

    One of America’s most trusted voices for aging, trusted voice for aging, with 5,000+ members and partners representing the entire field of aging services

  • Humana Foundation

    The philanthropic arm of Humana, Inc. the Humana Foundation co-creates communities where leadership, culture and systems work to improve and sustain positive health outcomes

For more information, contact Stephen Samuels,