When Healthcare “Heroes” Need Help: Destigmatizing Mental Illness in the Healthcare Workforce

Presented by:
  • Beth Lown
  • Chris Hayes
  • Corey Feist
  • Jennifer Feist
  • Jeremy Segall
  • Michelle Williams

The COVID-19 pandemic has added an unprecedented layer of stress and trauma to the many challenges that healthcare workers have long faced. As we turn our attention to how organizations and individuals can now move toward recovery, it’s imperative that healthcare leaders, educators, and policymakers take action to cultivate a sustainable, supported healthcare workforce. After all: Caregivers are humans before they are heroes, and when they are suffering, they too need care.


This special panel discussion moderated by MSNBC’s Chris Hayes with Corey and Jennifer Feist of the Dr. Lorna Breen Heroes’ Foundation; Jeremy Segall, Chief Wellness Officer of NYC Health + Hospitals; Dean Michelle Williams of Harvard T.H. Chan School of Public Health; and Schwartz Center Chief Medical Officer Dr. Beth Lown explored the ways in which the pandemic has exacerbated a mental-health crisis for our healthcare workforce, and steps we can take to prevent, assess, and address the significant mental and behavioral health consequences of caregiving.


This event is offered in partnership with #FirstRespondersFirst, an initiative of Harvard T.H. Chan School of Public Health, Thrive Global, and the CAA Foundation, takes a whole human approach to addressing the needs of our frontline workers in order to support their ability to serve on the frontlines of the COVID-19 pandemic. #FirstRespondersFirst’s fundraising call to action helps provide essential supplies, protective equipment, accommodations, child care, food, and critical mental health support and resources to this demographically and socially diverse workforce, ranging from minimum-wage hourly workers in home-care settings to social workers, nurses, physicians, and beyond, through its implementing collaborators Americares, Bright Horizons, CORE Response, Direct Relief, Give An Hour, Global Health Corps, Hispanic Federation, IHG Hotels & Resorts, InnerHour, International Rescue Committee, Marriott International, National Alliance on Mental Illness (NAMI), National Black Nurses Association, National Domestic Workers Alliance, Omada Health, Osmosis, Pivot, The Schwartz Center for Compassionate Healthcare, World Central Kitchen, and You Okay, Doc?. Powered by Thrive Global’s behavior change platform, #FirstRespondersFirst also provides access to Harvard Chan School’s evidence-based content, specifically tailored to this critical workforce, to help improve the physical and mental well-being of healthcare workers.

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