PTSD: National Center for PTSD
Health Care Workers and Responders
Health Care Workers and Responders
For Health Care Workers and Responders
For those working in health care during the pandemic—including mental health providers and first responders—managing patients and self-care includes challenges. There are strategies to support patients affected by COVID-19 and those in treatment for PTSD, as well as evidence-based models to foster peer support and self-care.
Providing care during the coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic
- Helping People Manage Stress Associated with the Coronavirus (COVID-19) Outbreak | en Español
Five key principles for health care providers, community leaders, and others concerned with the psychological welfare of the public.
- For Mental Health Providers: Working with Patients Affected by the Coronavirus (COVID-19) Outbreak
Tips for talking with patients about the Coronavirus (COVID-19) and treatment considerations, including a stress management framework.
- Treating PTSD During the COVID-19 Virus Outbreak
A recorded webinar from the PTSD Consultation Program Monthly Lecture Series (March, 2020).
- In Vivo Exposures for Prolonged Exposure Therapy During a Pandemic
During the unusual circumstances of a pandemic, opportunities for exposure activities during PE therapy may be limited. This article provides creative planning suggestions.
- PTSD and Telemental Health
Describes the use of technology to deliver PTSD care. A free online course, Treating PTSD Via Telemental Health Technology, is also available.
- Increasing Veterans' Comfort with Wearing Face Masks During Coronavirus (COVID-19): Tips for Providers
Suggestions for providers to support and encourage those who are uncomfortable wearing masks.
- Moral Injury
Describes moral injury, the relationship between moral injury and PTSD, and assessment and treatment consideration.
- Managing Health Care Workers' Stress Associated with the COVID-19 Virus Outbreak | en Español
Support and self-care strategies for people who work in health care.
- How Mental Health Providers Can Care for Themselves and Colleagues During COVID-19: An Update
This PTSD101 course offers information about the mental health toll the pandemic has taken on the public and providers, as well as practical strategies for providers to manage self-care and to support coworkers.
- How Mental Health Providers Can Care for Themselves and Support Colleagues During the Coronavirus (COVID-19) Outbreak
A recorded webinar from the PTSD Consultation Program Monthly Lecture Series (April, 2020).
- Moral Injury in Health Care Workers
Describes potential sources of moral injury in health care providers and offers self-care strategies and tips for supporting coworkers and staff.
- Provider Self-Care Toolkit
Offers resources to help mental health care providers manage self-care.
Useful disaster response frameworks
- Stress First Aid (SFA)
Stress First Aid (SFA) is a framework to improve recovery from stress reactions, both in oneself and in coworkers. The goal of SFA is to identify stress reactions along a stress continuum and to help reduce the likelihood that stress outcomes develop into more severe or long-term problems using core actions appropriate for self-care and coworker support. Training materials are available.
- Psychological First Aid (PFA)
An evidence-informed modular approach for assisting people in the immediate aftermath of disaster. The PFA Mobile app can assist responders.
- Skills for Psychological Recovery (SPR)
Intended to follow PFA in the weeks and months following disaster events. A free, online SPR Course is also available.
Additional resources and helpful organizations
- PTSD Consultation Program
If you are a provider, free consultation is available about treating stress reactions that may arise among any of your patients affected by COVID-19. The expert clinicians in the PTSD Consultation Program are providing this service in addition to their usual consultation about anything related to treating Veterans with PTSD.
- COVID-19 Exposure Scale
A 28-item self-report measure designed to assess potentially traumatic exposures related to the COVID-19 (coronavirus) pandemic.
- VA's Coronavirus (COVID-19) Response
Information to support Veterans more broadly is available on VA's COVID-19 Response page.
- LitCovid Research Literature
Find relevant Coronavirus (COVID-19) research articles via the LitCovid curated research literature hub using PubMed.
Many professional organizations that support mental health care providers are offering practical support resources for COVID-19.
- Practice Resources in Response to COVID-19 - American Psychological Association (APA)
- Coronavirus Resources - American Psychiatric Association (APA)
- COVID-19 Resources - International Society for Traumatic Stress Studies (ISTSS)