CDC says health workers are undergoing mental health crisis

DORAL, FL – The US Centers for Disease Control and Prevention found health workers are undergoing a mental health crisis, according to a new report that used survey data around the country from 2018 until 2022.

The report helped to learn that nearly half of health workers in the US felt burned out in 2022 compared to under a third that reported feeling this way four years prior. 

“While usually health workers care diligently for others in their time of need, it is now our nation’s health workers who are suffering, and we must act,” Dr. Debra Houry, the CDC’s chief medical officer, said according to CNN. 

In addition, the agency also found health worker’s reports of being harassed at work more than doubled, while they are dealing with worse mental health outcomes than employees in other industries, and a high percentage of them are not happy with their jobs. The survey observed that 44% of health workers want to find a new job, up from 33% in 2018. 

Harassment plays a key role in their deficient mental health, according to the report, since 85% of health workers who experienced it also reported feeling anxiety in comparison with 53% of those who didn’t. Victims of harassment feel more depressed as well, as sixty percent of them confirmed it.

The study also served as a tool to determine that health care workers feel their poor mental health days has increased between 2018 and 2022. 

The crisis hit its worse moment during the pandemic but started even before due to the long hours, unpredictable schedules, risk of catching infectious diseases and the emotional toll health workers deal with constantly. They are even more at risk of committing suicide than people who work in other fields per findings of another research. 

Given this scenario, the pandemic, that arrived in the nation in 2020, worked as a trigger for all these underlying struggles with an increase in patients, more long hours and supply shortages, making the mental health crisis a reality. 

The CDC’s National Institute for Occupational Safety and Health is planning on launching a national campaign this fall to aide hospital leaders tackle the mental and emotional challenges health workers are facing. 


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