The United States is investing $103 million to improve healthcare worker retention and respond to the ongoing nursing workforce shortage by reducing burnout and promoting mental health and wellness for healthcare professionals, particularly those in underserved and rural communities, the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) said in January 2022.
HHS reported that the funding, which comes from the Biden-Harris administration’s American Rescue Plan, will help fund evidence-informed programs, practices, and training for 45 organizations, with a specific focus on communities with disparities. As a result of the COVID-19 pandemic, depression and anxiety rates among healthcare workers have increased, leading many to leave the profession because of burnout and low resiliency. The funding will allow organizations to develop partnerships and resources to “directly support health professionals’ response to workplace stressors and provide training to help individuals manage the constantly changing, high-stress environment of health care.”
According to HHS, the funding is through three programs:
- The Promoting Resilience and Mental Health Among Health Professional Workforce helps healthcare organizations establish, improve, or expand evidence-informed programs and practices to promote mental health and well-being among their workforce.
- The Health and Public Safety Workforce Resiliency Training Program will support developing tailored evidence-informed health profession and nurse training activities to reduce burnout and promote resilience.
- The Health and Public Safety Workforce Resiliency Technical Assistance Center will provide tailored organizational. training and technical assistance.
“I have traveled to many health centers across the country and know that the COVID-19 pandemic has intensified issues that have long been a source of stress for frontline healthcare workers—from increased patient volumes to long working hours,” HHS Secretary Xavier Becerra said. “This funding reflects the Biden-Harris administration’s commitment to ensuring we have enough critical frontline workers by supporting healthcare providers now and beyond as they face burnout and mental health challenges. We will continue to promote the well-being of those who have made so many sacrifices to keep others well.”