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PTSD: National Center for PTSD

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Health Care Workers and Responders


Health Care Workers and Responders

photo of nurse doing COVID test

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

Managing 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.

PTSD Information Voice Mail: (802) 296-6300
Also see: VA Mental Health