Half Of U.S. Health Workers Show Signs Of Mental Illness

Half Of U.S. Health Workers Show Signs Of Mental Illness

48% of US public health personnel reported at least one mental health issue. Power Pediatrics discusses mental health in the workplace and how to address it.

Almost half of U.S public health experienced mental health symptoms

48% of American public health personnel met the criteria for a mental health condition. It is a drop from 2021, according to survey responses published in MMWR.

A survey found that 52.8% of respondents experienced symptoms of at least one of the following mental health conditions: depression, anxiety or PTSD. There is limited data about these other mental health symptoms among this population.

The researchers analyzed the incidence of suicidal ideation among the population in this area.

The survey used was through anonymous web-based software. It included questions related to demographic details, work history, stressors experienced over the previous year, and symptoms of anxiety, depression, PTSD or suicidal ideation in the last two weeks.

Those mental health conditions were based on the General Anxiety Disorder 2, Patient Health Questionnaire-9 for depression, and the six-item Impact of Event Scale for PTSD. The severity of the conditions is determined by demographic factors, work experience factors, stressors experienced and coping mechanisms.

Almost 50% of respondents had depression, anxiety, or PTSD in the study. These symptoms were most prevalent when they also had PTSD (28.4%), followed by anxiety (27.9%), depression (27.7%), and suicidal thoughts (8.1%).

Data shows that a third of public health workers do not feel their employers have increased mental health resources since March 2021. Out of the people who responded with yes, they felt the most important measures were demonstrating appreciation for staff members' work and providing telework options and flexible work schedules.

"Public health agencies need to invest in and develop the public health workforce to better address mental health", including symptoms of depression, anxiety, PTSD, and suicidal ideation. Kone and colleagues wrote.


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