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Bonus Short - Clinician Mental Health in the COVID-19 Pandemic

Melissa Shepard, MD and Neda Frayha, MD
00:00
23:15

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In this Hippo Education Short, psychiatrist Dr. Melissa Shepard sits down with Primary Care RAP host Dr. Neda Frayha for some real talk on the mental health challenges facing health care workers in the COVID-19 pandemic, and some concrete, tangible tools to help us get through this period. Spoiler alert: it’s more than yoga. 

Published on 4/28/20

Resources:

 

References:

Lai J, Ma S, Wang Y, et al. Factors associated with mental health outcomes among health care workers exposed to coronavirus disease 2019. JAMA Netw Open. 2020;3(3):e203976. doi:10.1001/jamanetworkopen.2020.3976

 

Chen QC, Liang M, Li Y, et al. Mental health care for medical staff in China during the COVID-19 outbreak. Lancet Psychiatry 2020; 7(4):E15-16. doi:https://doi.org/10.1016/S2215-0366(20)30078-X

 

Garfin DR, Silver RC, Holman EA. The novel coronavirus (COVID-2019) outbreak: Amplification of public health consequences by media exposure. Health Psychology. 2020 May;39(5): 355-357. Advance online publication. doi: https://doi.org/10.1037/hea0000875

 

Rosenberg AR. Cultivating deliberate resilience during the coronavirus disease 2019 pandemic. JAMA Pediatr. Published online April 14, 2020. doi:10.1001/jamapediatrics.2020.1436

 

Galea S, Merchant RM, Lurie N. The mental health consequences of COVID-19 and physical distancing: the need for prevention and early intervention. JAMA Intern Med. Published online April 10, 2020. doi:10.1001/jamainternmed.2020.1562

 

Pfefferbaum B, North CS. Mental Health and the Covid-19 Pandemic. N Engl J Med. Published online April 13, 2020. doi: 10.1056/NEJMp2008017

Beezer M. -

Another thing that helps with catastrophizing is not denying that the worst case scenario will happen but to understand that even our worst case scenario is not the end of the world. So for example, in relation to the fear of dying, for many physicians, it is not actually about dying but what will happen to our family, our kids, our obligations, which adds to the whole catastrophe. What can help with this is writing a will and even talking to your family about what might happen if you do pass away. It's therapeutic, catarrhic, and relieving to see that the "end of the world" is not even "the end of the world." Have the difficult conversations now about who your children will stay with, remarriage of a surviving spouse, and how your funeral will happen in the era of social distancing. I know it's morbid but paradoxically, it may help you feel better to verbalize these thoughts which you are pushing away anyway. And having a better sense of what will happen after you die will actually change the concept of death in your mind as not truly being as much of "the end of the world" as you are imagining.

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