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Healthcare workers experience burnout and stress from pandemic

Posted at 8:15 AM, Dec 08, 2020
and last updated 2020-12-08 08:15:59-05

RICHMOND, Va. -- With thousands of healthcare workers across the world on the front lines caring for others during the COVID-19 pandemic, they're just not feeling the impacts physically but mentally as well.

A new survey from Mental Health America shows that the majority of those working in healthcare are now experiencing mental health issues because of the prolonged pandemic.

"A good deal of attention was being paid to the physical health side of the pandemic, and particularly the physical impacts on healthcare workers but not enough attention is being paid to the emotional health side," Paul Gionfriddo, CEO of Mental Health America, said.

As the pandemic continues, doctors are now becoming increasingly at risk of burnout, mental health issues, and unfortunately suicide.

Over 90 percent of healthcare workers are feeling stressed and more than 80 percent are feeling anxious, based on the MHA survey results.

While 68 percent of workers are physically exhausted, 82 percent are emotionally exhausted.

More than half of those who took the survey are unsure if they even want to continue working in their profession after the pandemic is over.

"If we lose half of the healthcare professionals because they've been over-stressed and over-fatigued and burned out, then that's going to have ramifications for many, many years to come," Gionfriddo said.

He says that those struggling during this time may feel guilt or view seeking treatment as a weakness.

"Seeking help to seek health is a strength, and knowing where your limits are and being able to identify that and reach out to get additional assistance. We need to re-frame that as a strength," Gionfriddo stated, "It's both okay to get help and it's a strength to go and seek help when you need it."

Anyone in need of help or considering seeking help can find more resources on Mental Health America's website. You can find additional information and resources specifically for front line workers here.