The COVID-19 pandemic put a spotlight on the mental health of healthcare workers. According to Statistics Canada, 70% of healthcare workers reported that their mental health was somewhat worse or much worse now compared with before March 2020.
Healthcare Workers Mental Health Statistics
The Mental Health Commission reported in 2022 that of the healthcare workers they engaged, nearly 40 percent reported feeling burned out, 50 percent said they intended to leave their employer, and 60 percent said they were satisfied with the quality care they provided.
However, before the pandemic, healthcare workers reported experiencing negative impacts on their mental health, including depressive, anxiety and panic disorders, and burnout as a consequence of their workload and stress.
Accessing Therapy and Mental Health Support for Healthcare Workers
According to the Mental Health Commission, healthcare workers tend to prioritize caring for others over caring for their own mental health.
Obstacles to accessing therapy for healthcare professionals include limited mental health benefits and a lack of ability to access services during paid work time. There is also stigma related to accessing mental health counselling and fear that employers or colleagues may attribute a lack of professional competence to the use of these services.
However, healthcare and frontline workers are advocating for increased coverage for mental health services, including counselling, to improve their mental health. The Ontario Nurses’ Association recently secured unlimited mental health benefits for its members. London Health Sciences Centre recently announced unlimited mental health benefits for all employees enrolled in its benefit plan.
Reaching Out for Support
Building a trusting relationship with a therapist is an important tool in supporting your mental health as a frontline worker. The therapists at Gibson and Associates are available to provide sessions during days, evenings and weekends to accommodate your schedule. Many of our therapists have frontline experience, and experience providing counselling for healthcare workers who are currently working or on leave. We can support you by addressing the trauma, stress, and moral distress you experience because of your work, through therapy approaches that include Internal Family Systems, Cognitive Behavioural Therapy, Acceptance and Commitment Therapy, and EMDR.