Managing Your Mental Health During the COVID-19 Outbreak

Updated: Apr 16



As they continue to work the front lines of the COVID-19 outbreak, clinicians are having to cope with the physical and emotional toll brought on by the pandemic. While the country works to slow the spread of the infection, it's vital we prioritize the mental well-being of those selflessly serving the communities during these unprecedented times.


Mental Illness the Invisible Pandemic


Even before the COVID-19 outbreak, the mental well-being of healthcare professionals was at risk. According to Medscape's National Physician Burnout, Depression & Suicide Report of 2019:

  • 44% of physicians reported feeling burnout. Burnout is characterized as unresolvable stress related to the job. It often leads to stress and a detachment from the job

  • 11% reported feeling colloquially depressed. Colloquial depression refers to feeling down or sad for a period of time

  • 4% reported being clinically depressed. Clinical depression is a prolonged period of severe depression that is not caused be a grief-associated event

This study was conducted well before the onset of COVID-19 and only accounted for physicians' regular work load. Imagine these numbers in a post COVID-19 world. Physicians are now surrounded by the critically ill, suffering from a shortage of medical supplies and staff, and they're dealing with the fear of spreading the illness to their families. This crisis will exacerbate the existing mental health problems in the healthcare sector.


How to Take Care of Yourself


Just as we can flatten the curve for the spread of COVID-19 through social-distancing, there are easy steps you can take to safeguard your mental health. Use the strategies listed below to help cope with your stress:


Cover Your Bases
  1. Eat healthy meals and drink plenty of water

  2. Stay active with regular exercise

  3. Get proper sleep and take breaks as needed

Avoid Unhealthy Coping Strategies
  1. Limit alcohol consumption

  2. Avoid using tobacco or other drugs

Stay Connected
  1. Express fears/concerns with those close to you

  2. Maintain important long-distance relationships with technology

  3. Continue to check-in on your colleagues and patients

Stay Informed but Don't Over Indulge
  1. Rely only on reputable sources for necessary updates regarding COVID-19

  2. Avoid over-exposure to 24/7 news reporting as that can magnify your anxiety

Acknowledgement
  1. Recognize your emotions and allow yourself to cope appropriately

  2. Be supportive of your team and staff

  3. Remember and take pride that you have a noble calling and your work is valued


For more tips and information please visit any of the links below:

Managing Mental Health During COVID-19

Coping with Sickness and Stress

Strategies to Support the Well-Being of Clinicians During the COVID-19 Outbreak

Managing Healthcare Workers' Stress Associated with the COVID-19 Virus Outbreak


If symptoms of depression persist for more than 2-3 weeks and interferes with your job and personal life, you should seek professional mental health treatment.

If you or someone you know needs help, contact the national suicide prevention lifeline at

1 (800) 273-8255

Contact Professional Risk

Please complete this form or call us toll free to speak directly with an agent for a free, no-obligation indication!

2909 Polo Parkway, Suite 100

Midlothian, VA 23113

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Tel: 1-800-318-9930

Fax: 804-794-3468

info@profrisk.com

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