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The well-being and perspectives of community-based behavioral health staff during the COVID-19 pandemic
Social Work in Health Care  (IF1.602),  Pub Date : 2021-03-26, DOI: 10.1080/00981389.2021.1904315
Gary A. Morse, Nathaniel A. Dell


With high levels of burnout, turnover, and secondary traumatic stress, the well-being of the behavioral health workforce was an area of concern prior to the coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19) pandemic. How the COVID-19 crisis has impacted social workers, psychologists, psychiatrists, and other behavioral health professionals is unclear but should be examined. A brief survey evaluated the impact of the pandemic on the well-being of 168 behavioral health clinical and administrative staff serving in an urban behavioral health center in the United States. Staff experienced several personal and organizational-related challenges related to work–life balance, emotional distress, and organizational communication. Nevertheless, staff found an abundance of positive experiences when engaging with clients. Supportive, positive feedback and statements of appreciation from clients, colleagues, and supervisors helped staff to feel at their best. The well-being of behavioral health staff may be facilitated by consistent and supportive communication at the team, supervisory, and organizational levels and by involving staff in planning agency policy.