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7 Resources to Reduce Mental Health Provider Burnout

The demand for mental health care is growing at an astonishing rate. Thanks to the extended pressures of the pandemic, psychologists reported significant demand increases across several treatment areas. To make matters worse, there was already a shortage of mental health care workers prior to the pandemic. The increased burden on mental health care providers is causing burnout throughout the profession.

After the pandemic began and the world began to feel the stress of isolation and crisis, many turned to therapy to cope with their stress. This resulted in virtual therapy usage growing over 300% in 2020. As therapy appointments increased, so did the rate of burnout in those providing the care. In fact, a 2020 study showed that 78% of psychiatrists self-reported burnout. 

Mental health care providers go into the field to care for others, but what happens when those who care for the world lose their energy and passion? This is the situation many face today as providers have reached client capacity while coping with their own pandemic stresses and fears.

“Addressing the escalating psychiatrist shortage,” by Stacey Weiner, 12 February 2018. AAMC, www.aamc.org/news-insights/addressing-escalating-psychiatrist-shortage.

Resources to alleviate your burnout

Recognizing the signs of burnout in yourself is essential. As a mental health provider, you know better than most that you cannot care for others without first caring for yourself. You also know that taking your own advice is not always that simple. So we recommend you start by using MindTools’ burnout test to understand the severity of your burnout.

After you have completed your own assessment, we suggest utilizing the following resources to help alleviate some of the burnout you may be experiencing:

  1. 1. Find support groups and communities. Organizations like Chicago Minds offer a BIPOC directory and support group. For the social savvy individuals, Reddit and Facebook have many peer groups dedicated to open discussions about providing mental health care. Some examples include Counseling Psychology and Resources for Mental Health Counselors & Social Workers
  1. 2. Advocate for change in your organization and within the industry by introducing your leaders and peers to Doctors Under the Radar (Doc U R). Doc U R offers solutions to decrease the stigma of mental health challenges for providers. 
  1. 3. Listen to podcasts made for therapists:
    • Selling the Couch: Psychologist Melvin Varghese interviews successful private practice owners on how to get referrals, make money, work through fears, and how to stop “trading time for income.”
    • Love Your Practice: The life coach for mental and physical well being for business owners, practitioners, parents, spouses and humans.
    • Therapy Chat: A burnout prevention specialist interviews guests to discuss holistic and alternative approaches used in psychotherapy, counseling, coaching and healing sessions. 
  1. 4. Pursue coaching and classes through organizations like Thriving Well Institute where you can learn how to scale your practice without burning yourself out.
  1. 5. Join a professional organization like the American Association for Marriage and Family Therapy or the Association for Addiction Professionals to take advantage of educational resources, peer networking, and special discounts to save money while enhancing your practice.
  1. 6. Find work-life balance by benefiting from many discounts offered for healthcare workers: 
    • Enjoy some well-deserved R&R using Hyatt’s Friends & Family rate that has been extended for healthcare professionals through the end of June.
    • Upgrade your sleep hygiene with a 20% discount on Casper mattresses.
    • Reduce stress and boost your mood with 25% off artnaturals essential oils, skin care and body products.

7. Incorporate a free HIPAA-compliant telehealth service into your practice to free up time and save money.