AUSTIN (KXAN) — A new report from the CDC suggests that burnout and experiences of workplace harassment have been increasing for U.S. healthcare workers in recent years, leading to a mental health crisis.
Researchers surveyed healthcare workers in 2018 and 2022. They found that in four years, twice as many health workers reported workplace harassment, feelings of burnout increased by 32%, more healthcare workers endorsed worse mental health conditions and nearly half of the survey respondents were looking for new work, according to the study.
The researchers pointed out that the COVID-19 pandemic already exacerbated an already burnt-out healthcare workforce.
“We depend on our nation’s health workers, and they must be supported. Employers can act now by modifying working conditions associated with burnout and poor mental health outcomes in health settings. And, CDC’s National Institute for Occupational Safety and Health (NIOSH) will be launching a national campaign—the Impact Wellbeing campaign—to provide health employers with resources to improve worker mental health,” said CDC Chief Medical Officer Debra Houry in a press release about the report.
The study authors also point out modifiable factors that can promote mental health in the workplace. Things like increased managerial social support and training managers on mental health awareness can improve employee well-being.
Also, work that does not provide security and social protection, fair wages and opportunities for growth are all associated with depressive symptoms and poor health.