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CDC warns we’re facing a mental health ‘crisis’ in health care; Borderland experts weigh in

EL PASO, Texas (KVIA) -- The Centers for Disease Control is warning about a mental health crisis affecting a certain part of the workforce — health care professionals. In new research from the CDC, the levels of harassment and burnout increased from prior years, as did the number of people leaving the health care workforce.

The CDC looked at survey data over a four year span from 2018 to 2022 -- which found nearly half of all health care workers felt burnt out of their jobs last year. It was up more than 14% than in 2018.

Overall, health workers reported more harassment on the job -- double the amount from 2018.

"Nearly half of health workers intended to look for a new job in 2022, up from 33% in 2018."

— Centers for Disease Control and Prevention

A key finding of this new CDC report was that health care professionals are more likely to see worse mental health than people who work in other industries. Concerns about medical mental health have existed for some time, and earlier this year -- as reported by KVIA -- health care workers have gone on strike demanding better pay, hours and hiring practices.

Some other studies have warned about heightened suicide risks for nurses and other medical support professionals, including one published in the Journal of the American Medical Association in September. It found that the annual suicide rate for medical workers was higher than other industries.

The report also offered tips on improving mental health in medical settings - including discussions including all professionals in care -- which was directly tied to more positive mental states. Health workers who trusted their higher-ups were not as likely to experience burnout from the job.

Better workplace policies and procedures, according to researchers, can significantly improve the mental wellness/health of a workspace.

Avery Martinez covers mental health in the Borderland as part of ABC-7’s Be Mindful initiative. He is also a Report for America corps member. RFA places talented, emerging journalists in newsrooms like ABC-7’s to report on under-covered issues and communities. Report for America is an initiative of The GroundTruth Project, an award-winning nonprofit journalism organization dedicated to rebuilding journalism from the ground up.

Article Topic Follows: Be Mindful

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Avery Martinez


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