“It’s going to take weeks or months before people are really able to take a breath and start thinking about all they’ve seen, all they’ve experienced and to start processing it,” Dr. Wendy Dean says. “I firmly believe that the mental health surge is going to be significantly delayed from the viral surge.”
In this piece for the Richmond Academy of Medicine, Dr. Wendy Dean warns of a looming mental health crisis for the physicians on the front lines of COVID-19. Entitled COVID curve 1.5: a brewing crisis of clinician mental health, Dr. Dean addresses hero-worship and the stigma facing physicians for seeking support.
Dr. Wendy Dean was invited to testify at the New York City June 16, 2020 City Council hearing. During this testimony, she shared that a “culture of self-sacrifice” stops medical staff from seeking help for mental-health issues in the first place.
“There’s a habit of many in health-care to minimize their own needs in the face of greater suffering by patients and families,” Dr. Dean said.
Other testimonies included physicians from Bellevue Hospital and others. A summary article from The Chief Leader can be found below, or a full video of the City Council meeting via the NYC City Counsel website also linked below.
While other corners of the health-care world struggled to care for patients, protect staff, and find scarce equipment, for-profit health insurance companies did just fine. Drs. Wendy Dean and Simon G. Talbot co-authored this article with Dr. Samuel Shem.
Crises often highlight both the best and the worst of humanity. Coronavirus is no exception. It has brought out the best in America’s health-care workforce. It also has deeply wounded the healthcare workers through moral injuries.
As health systems address employee mental health, they’re finding women are most at-risk. Moral injury is front and center on the spectrum of harm.
Health care providers face a rising mental and emotional toll amid the pandemic. Peer support programs can alleviate internal burdens and create a spirit of shared empathy.
The intense decisions clinicians have to make during the pandemic don’t just cause burnout. They cause moral injury. Hosted by Arielle Duhaime-Ross (@adrs), host and lead reporter of Reset.
Jen Schwartz (@JenLSchwartz)
Wendy Dean (@wendydeanMD)
Listen on Apple Podcasts in the link below.
For many of the nation’s physicians, doctoring has become an almost unrecognizable activity, and it started long before the COVID-19 crisis. Unfortunately, the doctors have no idea how to take care of themselves. Dr. Wendy Dean’s personal and professional stories are highlighted in this piece by Psychology Today’s Hara Marano.
The recent suicides of healthcare workers on the front lines highlight a potential second disaster in the making. Psychiatrist Wendy Dean is an expert on Moral Injury and talks about real solutions.
Dr. Wendy Dean was the featured mental health expert on MSNBC’s Live with Joshua Johnson on May 2, 2020. She first defines moral injury and then goes on to discuss the impossibly difficult decisions and conditions clinicians are working under during the coronavirus pandemic. She goes on to caution about calling healthcare workers heroes, because there will come a time when those heroes need to be human and process the trauma they have undergone during this time.