Survey: More than half of public health workers experienced mental health problems during the COVID-19 pandemic

Mental illnesses included depression, anxiety, post-traumatic stress disorder, and suicidal ideation.

More than half of public health workers reported mental health problems during the coronavirus pandemic, according to a new study from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.

A survey of more than 26,000 states, local, regional and regional health workers in March and April found that 53% of the researchers had reported symptoms of at least one headache in the past two weeks.

Mental illnesses included depression (32.0%), anxiety (30.3%), post-traumatic stress disorder (36.8%), and suicidal ideation (8.4%). The prevalence of mental illness among public health workers was higher than in previous reports for the general population.

The online survey, conducted from late March to mid-April, found that the highest prevalence of mental illness symptoms was reported among respondents 29 and younger, and among transgender or non-binary people of all ages.

Most of those surveyed said they work directly on COVID-19 response activities and have worked at least 41 hours in a typical work week since March 2020.

“The prevalence of the four mental health outcomes and the severity of depression or PTSD symptoms increased as the percentage of work time spent directly on COVID-19 response activities and the number of hours worked in a typical week, “he said in the study.

Those who reported long hours and an inability to take time off were more likely to have psychological problems.

“Implementing prevention and control practices that eliminate, reduce, and manage workplace factors that cause or contribute to negative mental health in public health workers could improve mental outcomes during these and other public health emergencies, ”he said in the study. The study listed several limitations, including that the survey specifically asked about symptoms experienced in the prior two weeks, which “might not reflect all symptoms experienced during the pandemic.”