New service connects medical professionals to mental health resources

A nurse leans against a door in a patient's room inside Mount Carmel Grove City Hospital's COVID-19 ward in a file photograph. The Ohio State Medical Association on Wednesday announced a free, anonymous service to help provide health care workers in the state with access to screening for mental and emotional health issues in the wake of two-plus years of dealing with the coronavirus and its variants.

The Ohio State Medical Association has announced it is launching a free, anonymous service to help health care workers statewide screen for mental and emotional health issues.

Brian Santin, a vascular surgeon and the association’s president, said Wednesday that the emotional toll laid on health care professionals during the COVID-19 pandemic has placed a heavy strain on the profession.

May is Mental Health Awareness Month, and Santin said the medical association’s new Well-Being CARE Service aims to help health care professionals normalize the conversation about mental and emotional health issues, empowering them to take action to get the support they need.

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“It should serve as no surprise that these past two years of the pandemic have taken a considerable emotional and mental toll on the doctors, nurses and pretty much anyone working in the health care system,” Santin said. “When health care workers are taken care of physically and mentally, we’re able to do what we do best — and that’s care for our patients.”

Doctors hit by burnout, depression amid COVID-19 pandemic

A survey of 13,000 doctors in 29 specialties about physician burnout and depression released in January by Medscape, a healthcare publication, found that the nation’s physicians were dealing with continuing COVID stress and other challenges. Those experiencing the most emotional and mental health issues have been those in fields of emergency medicine at 60% and critical care at 56%. 

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