Digital Mental Health Tools for Healthcare Workers Providing COVID-19 Care
Personalized, digital therapy tools to support and sustain healthcare organizations and their frontline workers.
Updated March 31, 2023.
With COVID-19, healthcare workers are on the frontlines of one of the greatest health challenges in generations.
In more normal times, healthcare workers already experience stress, anxiety, trauma, and depression from their jobs:
Before the pandemic, burnout and disability claims were 50 per cent higher than in other professions.
- More than one in four nurses screened positive for generalized anxiety disorder (26.1 per cent) and clinical burnout (29.3 per cent)
- 23 per cent of nurses screened positive for PTSD and 20.3% for panic disorder
- Over 40 per cent of Canadian physicians report that they are in the advanced stages of burnout
COVID-19 has added more pressures, including dealing with a highly infectious virus.
How We Are Solving It
The Digital Mental Health Tools for Frontline Healthcare Workers – COVID-19 and Beyond project is working to deliver personalized mental healthcare to workers through a digital suite of accessible and interactive tools. This project aims to establish a strong foundation for healthcare organizations to safeguard frontline workers’ mental health.
Led by Starling Minds in collaboration with the University of British Columbia and Genome BC, the project provides preventative tools to help workers with their mental health, both at the workplace and at home, as well as intervention tools to assist those who are off work and struggling to get back on the job. It will be available via mobile phone, tablet or computer in English and French.
One of the platform’s key approaches is cognitive behavioral training. By leveraging digital technology, users can easily access self-guided therapeutic support to better understand mental health and embed best practices into their daily routines.
Users will also have the opportunity to connect with their peers through a safe, confidential and anonymous online community where they can share personal and professional experiences and struggles.
The platform can evolve to address mental health conditions and stressors in other professions such as teachers, police officers, firefighters and public employees.
This project leveraged Starling Minds’ suite of best-practice digital mental health tools to develop new programs in English and French, focused on prevention and intervention that are specific to healthcare workers. The project also expanded its scope to include teachers given evidence of high mental health burdens faced by these professionals during the pandemic. As part of the project, Starling Minds’ mental health care platform was available to 30,000 health care workers across Fraser Health Authority in British Columbia, as well as over 200,000 educators, principals and vice principals across Canada.
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