COVID Depression: Frontline Workers’ Mental Health

A neurologist and psychiatrist discuss the mental health impacts of burnout, trauma, and depression experienced by physicians and healthcare workers on the frontlines of the pandemic.

In a candid and vulnerable discussion, neurologist Farah Fourcand, MD and psychiatrist Jessi Gold, MD explore the impact of the COVID-19 pandemic on the mental health of physicians, nurses, and other healthcare professionals. The burdens and trauma of the frontline have only exacerbated pre-existing, systemic problems that weren’t largely unnoticed before 2020.

In this video series, these two physicians take on several aspects of COVID depression, including:

  • Self-sacrifice, capacity, and capability
  • Morale boosters
  • Death and guilt
  • Resignations 
  • Emotional transparency with patients
  • Personal mental wellness, empathy, and vulnerability
  • Seeking help and coping skills

Psychiatrist Jessi Gold, MD and neurologist Farah Fourcand, MD share a conversation about the perspective healthcare workers on the COVID-19 frontline. From diving in to support other specialties, self sacrifice, and doing “what’s right” within one's capacity, this discussion is relatable and validating for any physician or HCW who’s put themselves in front of the pandemic.

Presented by The Journal of Clinical Psychiatry and Dramatic Life.

Jessi Gold, MD is an assistant professor and director of wellness, engagement, and outreach for the Department of Psychiatry at Washington University School of Medicine in St. Louis. 

Farah Fourcand, MD is the first person to complete the NIH physician-scientist neurology program and is currently in the only combined stroke, neurocritical care, and neurointerventional surgery program in the country in New Jersey.

Access more from The JCP’s COVID Depression series at Psychiatrist.com/Covid-Depression.

During the first wave of COVID-19, neurologist Farah Fourcand, MD was part of a ‘COVID-19 Brain Team’ that treated ICU patients. She shares that experience in a candid interview with psychiatrist Jessi Gold, MD, talking about how the physician, nursing and support staff were overwhelmed and even demoralized.

She opens up about “one of the best days” of her life, when they were able to extubate five patients plan in a single day and finally deliver some “morale boosting” good news.

Presented by The Journal of Clinical Psychiatry and Dramatic Life.

Jessi Gold, MD is an assistant professor and director of wellness, engagement, and outreach for the Department of Psychiatry at Washington University School of Medicine in St. Louis. 

Farah Fourcand, MD is the first person to complete the NIH physician-scientist neurology program and is currently in the only combined stroke, neurocritical care, and neurointerventional surgery program in the country in New Jersey.

Access more from The JCP’s COVID Depression series at Psychiatrist.com/Covid-Depression.

COVID deaths “defied the order and rationale that doctors thrive and depend on,” explains neurologist Farah Fourcand, MD. The mortality couldn’t be understood or explained intellectually, and that unknown was a very hard thing for physicians and HCWs to process early in the pandemic. She talks with psychiatrist Jessi Gold, MD about the depression, burnout, and trauma physicians have assumed as part of treating patients on the COVID frontline.

Presented by The Journal of Clinical Psychiatry and Dramatic Life.

Jessi Gold, MD is an assistant professor and director of wellness, engagement, and outreach for the Department of Psychiatry at Washington University School of Medicine in St. Louis. 

Farah Fourcand, MD is the first person to complete the NIH physician-scientist neurology program and is currently in the only combined stroke, neurocritical care, and neurointerventional surgery program in the country in New Jersey.

Access more from The JCP’s COVID Depression series at Psychiatrist.com/Covid-Depression.

Neurologist Farah Fourcand, MD wishes patients could see physicians and HCWs as human. If they could “see us as normal, flawed people we would be a lot more open to expressing ourselves.” This discrepancy impacts physicians’ avoidance of mental health support. She and psychiatrist Jessi Gold, MD discuss the mental health impact of the pandemic on all health care professionals, and the power of taking one first step to do something about it.

Presented by The Journal of Clinical Psychiatry and Dramatic Life.

Jessi Gold, MD is an assistant professor and director of wellness, engagement, and outreach for the Department of Psychiatry at Washington University School of Medicine in St. Louis. 

Farah Fourcand, MD is the first person to complete the NIH physician-scientist neurology program and is currently in the only combined stroke, neurocritical care, and neurointerventional surgery program in the country in New Jersey.

Access more from The JCP’s COVID Depression series at Psychiatrist.com/Covid-Depression.

The mental health of physicians and HCWs was in an unhealthy place before the pandemic, and the burdens and trauma of the frontline have only exacerbated these pre-existing, systemic problems. Neurologist Farah Fourcand, MD and psychiatrist Jessi Gold, MD discuss the very real mental health support that providers need, how they often wait until they’re “bad off” to seek help, and active coping skills that can help give purpose and focus.

Presented by The Journal of Clinical Psychiatry and Dramatic Life.

Jessi Gold, MD is an assistant professor and director of wellness, engagement, and outreach for the Department of Psychiatry at Washington University School of Medicine in St. Louis. 

Farah Fourcand, MD is the first person to complete the NIH physician-scientist neurology program and is currently in the only combined stroke, neurocritical care, and neurointerventional surgery program in the country in New Jersey.

Access more from The JCP’s COVID Depression series at Psychiatrist.com/Covid-Depression.

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