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09/24/2021 03:18 AM
Pennsylvania House of Representatives
https://www.legis.state.pa.us/cfdocs/Legis/CSM/showMemoPublic.cfm?chamber=H&SPick=20210&cosponId=35605
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House of Representatives
Session of 2021 - 2022 Regular Session

MEMORANDUM

Posted: May 10, 2021 12:26 PM
From: Representative Wendi Thomas and Rep. Frank A. Farry, Rep. Natalie Mihalek, Rep. Michael H. Schlossberg, Rep. Rosemary M. Brown
To: All House members
Subject: Public Awareness Campaign to Address our Healthcare Heroes' Mental Health
 
In the near future, we will introduce legislation to support our Healthcare Heroes.  Last week in a hearing held by the Mental Health Caucus, we heard about the mental health toll the pandemic has taken on so many frontline workers. While there is a need for more work on how to help, we would like to be begin with making sure our healthcare workers, first responders, and other frontline workers and their families know that there is help available.  We also hope to decrease stigma against asking for help.
 
We heard from many who share extremely concerning statistics.
 
“In the past 14 months our health care workers have been faced with elevated levels of anxiety, depression, isolation, PTSD and burnout,” said Jennifer Collins, PsyD, chief well-being officer and clinical psychologist at Penn Medicine Lancaster General Health. “In September 2020, in the midst of the pandemic, a survey from the National Institute of Healthcare Management revealed that 76% of health care workers are now reporting burnout and exhaustion.”
 
“A recent Washington Post-Kaiser Family Foundation poll found that as many as three in 10 health care professionals are considering leaving the profession, of which half of those are due to burn out,” Tarik Khan, MSN, FNP-BC, CRNP, and certified nurse practitioner  said. “Burnout among nurses was common before COVID-19; the pandemic has only hastened it for many of them. The virus has caused many nurses to leave their units to pursue another career.”
 
This bill will direct the Department of Human Services to establish a public awareness campaign to provide information regarding the programs and services available for first responders, healthcare workers, and other frontline workers suffering from mental health issues related to the COVID-19 pandemic. We know some of those issues include, but are not limited to, post-traumatic stress disorder, anxiety, depression, and substance use disorder. We need to care for those who selflessly care for others.
 
Please join us in co-sponsoring this important piece of legislation.
 



Introduced as HB1420