Coronavirus: The mental health battle faced by medical workers | The Stream

Healthcare workers are on the frontline of the fight against coronavirus, and around the world they are being hailed as heroes. But, away from the headlines, many are tackling more personal battles.

A global study published in March in the medical journal JAMA found that, out of 1,257 healthcare workers treating COVID-19 patients in China, 50.4 percent reported symptoms of depression, 44.6 percent had symptoms of anxiety, 34 percent had experienced insomnia, and 71.5 percent reported some form of distress.

Healthcare workers are trained to work through crises but the coronavirus pandemic is like nothing they have ever faced. They find themselves navigating severe illness and death, all the while grappling with shortages of essential protective gear. Experts believe this will likely lead to burnout, depression, PTSD and other forms of psychological trauma.

In this episode of The Stream, we speak to mental health experts and medical professionals to hear about the pandemic’s impact on their profession and to find out whether more can be done to protect these vital workers.

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