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City Council recognizes Physician Mental Health Awareness Day

During this week’s Council meeting, the Council adopted a resolution recognizing May 18, 2021, as Physician Mental Health Awareness Day in the City of Boston.

Councilor Essaibi-George, who filed the resolution, said before the Body, “I filed this resolution in order to recognize the work of our physicians during this pandemic and the need to support their mental health.”

Since the beginning of the pandemic, over 70,000 cases of COVID-19 have been reported in the City of Boston and physicians have been on the front lines of the COVID-19 pandemic, which has taken a significant toll on the emotional well-being of countless individuals.

Prior to 2020, roughly 40% of physicians reported experiencing burnout, this percentage climbed to 60% following COVID-19. Only 13% of physicians have sought treatment to address pandemic-related mental health concerns, nearly one in four physicians knows a colleague who has died by suicide.

There is long-standing stigma surrounding mental health care within the field of medicine. An October 2020 American College of Emergency Physicians poll found that almost half of surveyed physicians are not comfortable seeking mental health treatment.

The Council encourages all healthcare employers to improve access to mental healthcare for their physicians and all employees.

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