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The pandemic's mental health toll on frontline staff

The pandemic's mental health toll on frontline staff
Posted at 9:17 PM, Mar 07, 2021
and last updated 2021-03-08 07:24:01-05

COLORADO SPRINGS — We are now one year into the pandemic, and while it has taken a mental toll on many people, it has especially effected those on the front lines.

For medical staff around the world, days began turning into weeks, and weeks began turning into months.

"In some cases, we just couldn't help people. That takes a toll on you, and your mental well being," said Michele Shade, Director of Emergency Services at Penrose Hospital.

Shade says over the last year it wasn't easy for anyone in medicine to wake up every day knowing there would be another couple thousand more COVID-19 cases.

"You go into medicine knowing that you're wanting to help people. However, you never think that it's going to be as something as this large of a scale," said Shade.

A year full of tireless hours, Shade says the only way she was able to get through it was by listening to her body.

"You have to know when enough is enough, when you have to step away for a day or two," said Shade.

So whether it be taking a step back, or talking to someone, "we can't go on, just plugging away, taking care of patients, if we're not also taking care of ourselves," said Dr. Diane Thompson.

Dr. Thompson of Centura Health says she urged medical staff to support one another as they were all trying to navigate what exactly the pandemic entailed.

"Everything was magnified. All the things that physicians usually deal with was so much greater than what was was usual," said Dr. Thompson.

A year full of change and learning later...

"We feel hope now that we have the vaccination. We're able to get it not only to our associates, but also to our community and we are on the right path," said Shade.


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