The COVID-19 pandemic has impacted the psychological and emotional well-being of healthcare workers around the world. Recent analyses suggest that more than half of healthcare workers reported symptoms of burnout with associated mental health comorbidities including anxiety, depression, posttraumatic stress disorder, and insomnia. The World Health Organized characterizes burnout as a psychological illness resulting from “chronic workplace stress that has not been successfully managed” leading to “feelings of energy depletion or exhaustion, increased mental distance from one’s job, or feelings of negativism or cynicism related to one’s job, and reduced professional efficacy” (WHO, 2019).
In a recent New England Journal of Medicine article, Dr. Vivek Murthy, Surgeon General of the United States, described the harrowing physical and mental exhaustion among healthcare workers and called for a “bold, fundamental change that gets to the roots of the burnout crisis” (Murthy, 2022). To serve this goal, Dr. Murthy issued a Surgeon General’s Advisory on health worker burnout and well-being with the goal of expanding public awareness about the burnout crisis and coalescing private and public stakeholders to address healthcare professional well-being.
The need for mental health support for healthcare workers has never been greater. As Dr. Murthy expressed, a central factor in healing our healthcare workforce is the elimination of stigma and the culture of “silent suffering” that has defined the daily lives of healthcare providers and administrators. Further, enormous and sustained investment in programs and initiatives are essential, including increased funding for mental health services, expansion of the healthcare workforce, loan forgiveness for health professionals, improved public health infrastructure, and the establishment of well-being education programs within health systems and practices across the country. From a mental health perspective, it is imperative that healthcare workers connect to accessible and effective psychological treatments.
Finding Your Solution at Ebb & Flow
Psychologists and Pre-Licensed Clinicians at Ebb & Flow are ready to engage you in evidence-based stress management interventions to help you regulate burnout symptoms and reconnect with the aspects of your life that bring meaning and fulfillment. Like any evidence-based treatment, navigating feelings of burnout with Ebb & Flow will include comprehensive assessment and individual tailoring of psychological interventions to address your unique burnout experience. Treatment strategies will emphasize resilience building and increasing engagement in your life. With your mental health clinician, you will learn tools like mindfulness-based stress reduction and cognitive-behavioral therapy. These techniques will help increase understanding of your stress responses, empower self-compassion, strengthen social connections, and re-establish a sense of meaning and purpose in your life. We look forward to the opportunity to partner with you in your burnout recovery.