The COVID-19 pandemic exacerbated the psychological suffering of many and contributed to an increase in anxiety and/or depressive disorders in the United States. Recent studies have focused on stressors experienced by frontline medical workers, yet behavioral health providers also experienced significant stress prior to and during the pandemic. Results of a recent online survey measuring the impact of the pandemic on the mental health of behavioral health providers indicate that respondents experienced feelings of distress, depression, anxiety, isolation, and fear. A majority of respondents reported negative impacts on their ability to deliver care to their clients. Providers experienced the rapid switch from in-person care delivery to telehealth services, and the need for provider education and training in supplying care in future emergencies.
This project seeks to describe the impact of a public health emergency such as the COVID-19 pandemic on behavioral health providers and the care they can provide to patients. Specific research questions include:
- What supports are in place for behavioral health providers to manage burnout and stress during public health emergencies such as the COVID-19 pandemic?
- What supports are available to assist with necessary shifts in service delivery, such as the transition from in-person care to telehealth services?
- What are the long-term implications of the shift to telehealth for behavioral health providers and patients?
Coming summer 2022.