Help for the Helpers: resources for physicians dealing with mental illness and burnout


Incidences of mental illness, burnout, and defection are increasing among physicians and healthcare workers as the COVID-19 pandemic continues1. More-so than simple overburdening and overworking, this intense wave of burnout in healthcare practitioners is reportedly tied to large amounts of collective trauma in the field. It’s difficult adjusting healthcare practices to cater to folks who are at-risk and dying rapidly while also trying to keep yourself and your loved ones safe.

The difficulty in navigating exacerbated workloads, dangerous health conditions, and restructuring of everything from single floors in a hospital to entire care networks has led to a sense of exhaustion and feelings of being overwhelmed. The pandemic exacerbated an already stressed system of workers, burnout in medicine was rising rapidly2. Interviews and studies conducted in the field relating to healthcare worker burnout were chronicled by Time, finding most prominently:

“According to an April 2021 survey conducted by Kaiser Family Foundation and the Washington Post, frontline health care workers’ mental health has taken a hit. Of the respondents, 62% said that worry or stress related to the coronavirus has had a negative impact on their mental health, and 55% say they feel burned out when going to work.

But the term burnout doesn’t seem big enough to encompass all the trauma and heartache caregivers have witnessed, or the challenges it could create for the health care system moving forward1.”

Now, more than all but a few times before, if ever, we as a society find ourselves desperately reliant on the healthcare workers, who find themselves more taxed and intensely overwhelmed, leaving in record amounts. So how can we help? A plethora of resources have sprung up in support of doctors and other healthcare professionals. You will find some listed below to check out for help, resources, and information.


Peer support programs for doctors:

Physician support line:,navigate%20the%20COVID%2D19%20epidemic.&text=1%2D888%2D409%2D0141.

Programs listed by state:

National Alliance on Mental Illness Frontline Worker support:

Resources from ACEP on how to advocate at a policy level:


Written by Jeremiah Ockunzzi, courtesy of Dr. Bart Rademaker, MD.






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