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Protecting Workers’ Mental Health during the COVID-19 Pandemic

February 19, 2021

The COVID-19 pandemic has put a significant strain on health care workers, highlighting the need for ongoing resources and support to protect our health care heroes.

A new survey released this month from the Yale School of Public Health reinforced the challenges health care workers face as they deal with unprecedented pressures during the pandemic. Researchers indicated that health care workers are experiencing concerning rates of depression, post-traumatic stress disorder, and other mental health challenges.

This week, the American Hospital Association (AHA) updated its well-being playbook, with new resources for hospital and health system leaders to address these important issues. The playbook notes the complex toll that comes from burnout and the key factors that contribute to it, such as:

  • Excessive workload
  • Insufficient control over resources or authority
  • Lack of appropriate rewards
  • Lack of connection and community within the workplace
  • Lack of perceived fairness
  • Differences between personal and organizational values, or organizational values and real-life practices

HAP joins the AHA and other groups providing resources to help promote resiliency and support our health care workforce. Last year, HAP published its Resources for a Resilient Workforce focusing on the psychological impact clinicians experience during a pandemic, while offering important tools and support.

In addition, last month HAP published Partnering during the Pandemic, a four-part series identifying the ways hospital leaders, management, and staff can partner to build resiliency, including:

  • Psychological First Aid
  • Walking Rounds
  • Communication Strategies
  • Mindfulness
  • Positive Psychology Practices

During the pandemic and beyond, HAP will continue to support Pennsylvania’s dedicated health care workforce as it delivers outstanding care within our communities. For more information, contact Beth Murray, HAP’s readmissions project manager, or Mary Marshall, HAP’s director, workforce and professional development.