September 28, 2022

Iowa mental health program helps healthcare workers

A nationwide survey shows some health care workers are struggling with their mental health.So, while Iowa is shifting to a new pandemic response, they’re still dealing with the pandemic’s direct effects.The survey, conducted by IntelyCare Research Group, found that while 72% of nurses have access to some type of mental health care, only 10% use it.The survey also found that 56% of responding nurses are sacrificing their mental health for their job, and 41% said they have considered a career change.More than a quarter, 29%, say they didn’t take a vacation in 2021.Eric Johnson at UnityPoint is trying to change that. He’s the director of spiritual care at the hospital and does a lot of work with other UnityPoint employees and their mental well-being.Johnson says one of the things he encourages employees to do is to truly enjoy their time not at work. Spend meaningful time with loved ones, go on vacation, and build those relationships.He also says people also need to face any mental health issues head-on.”We want people to be healthy, we want people to use their time off, we want people to have relationships outside of work that kind of feed them. Here at the hospital, we’re focused on creating space for people to process their stress,” Johnson said.His best piece of advice for struggling health care workers: Talk about any issues you may be having with a loved one or with a professional and take advantage of any resources available to you.More stories from Beau Bowman:

A nationwide survey shows some health care workers are struggling with their mental health.

So, while Iowa is shifting to a new pandemic response, they’re still dealing with the pandemic’s direct effects.

The survey, conducted by IntelyCare Research Group, found that while 72% of nurses have access to some type of mental health care, only 10% use it.

The survey also found that 56% of responding nurses are sacrificing their mental health for their job, and 41% said they have considered a career change.

More than a quarter, 29%, say they didn’t take a vacation in 2021.

Eric Johnson at UnityPoint is trying to change that. He’s the director of spiritual care at the hospital and does a lot of work with other UnityPoint employees and their mental well-being.

Johnson says one of the things he encourages employees to do is to truly enjoy their time not at work. Spend meaningful time with loved ones, go on vacation, and build those relationships.

He also says people also need to face any mental health issues head-on.

“We want people to be healthy, we want people to use their time off, we want people to have relationships outside of work that kind of feed them. Here at the hospital, we’re focused on creating space for people to process their stress,” Johnson said.

His best piece of advice for struggling health care workers: Talk about any issues you may be having with a loved one or with a professional and take advantage of any resources available to you.

More stories from Beau Bowman:

https://www.kcci.com/article/des-moines-iowa-unitypoint-mental-health-program-helps-healthcare-workers/39089753