Wellness Programs for Health Care Workers Come to the Forefront in Wake of Pandemic

January 5, 2022

The Biden administration is providing $103 million in grants to help reduce health care worker burnout and staffing shortages. Funding, according to the Department of Human Health Services (HHS), will be distributed through three different programs to a total of 45 grantees. A variety of professional groups, particularly those associated with long-term care, have identified burnout as a leading cause of nurse departures. 

Evidence-informed training and strategies will be provided to promote mental health, wellness, and resilience in the health care workforce. Specific focus will be given to providers in underserved and rural communities. The administration hopes the funding support will help improve the retention of health care workers.

Who Is Getting the Funding?

The Health and Public Safety Workforce Resiliency Training Program will award nearly $68 million across 34 providers; the Promoting Resilience and Mental Health Among Health Professional Workforce program will award $28.6 million across 10 winners; and the Health and Public Safety Workforce Resiliency Technical Assistance Center will award $6 million to George Washington University.

“COVID-19 has compounded rates of depression and anxiety among health care workers,” explained the HHS. “The relentless physical and emotional demands of treating patients during a pandemic have exacerbated long-standing barriers to workplace well-being. While the challenge is complex, these multi-year awards will support proven strategies for health care providers, academic institutions, and other recipients to reduce burnout and build resiliency.”

Why Wellness Programs Are So Important for Workers

Caring for the well-being of employees helps foster a more positive workplace culture, as workers are happier and have a higher level of employee engagement. Wellness programs also have been shown to help employees alleviate and better manage the symptoms of depression, improving their overall well-being. Other important benefits of implementing employee wellness programs include improved attendance records, increased productivity, and a reduction in employee stress and health care costs.

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