Impacts of the COVID-19 Response on the Governmental Public Health Workforce
COVID-19, Frontline Responders and Mental Health: A Playbook for Delivering Resilient Public Health Systems Post-Pandemic
ISBN: 978-1-80262-118-1, eISBN: 978-1-80262-115-0
Publication date: 23 January 2023
The governmental public health workforce provides essential public health services to communities from public health agencies operations at the local, state, and federal levels of government. The roles and duties of public health workers range from infectious disease tracking and control to healthy eating promotion to checking food service establishments for safety. Unfortunately, most of the time, the general public is unaware of, and unconcerned with, public health’s primary mission of disease prevention. This behind-the-scenes, service-oriented workforce has responded to the COVID-19 pandemic by working long hours, extra days, and ever-changing job roles, all while becoming targets of political attacks and enduring substantially elevated psychological distress and burnout. Though this workforce is not well enumerated, existing studies indicate that public health workers face higher anxiety, depression, post-traumatic stress disorder, and burnout than other frontline healthcare workers during the COVID-19 pandemic response. Several strategies have been suggested to address these vulnerabilities, including increasing the amount and stability of available funding, implementing organizational-level policies and programming to boost resilience, and providing individual-level social support, both instrumental and emotional, to protect against burnout and other psychological distresses.
Stone, K.W. (2023), "Impacts of the COVID-19 Response on the Governmental Public Health Workforce", Horney, J.A. (Ed.) COVID-19, Frontline Responders and Mental Health: A Playbook for Delivering Resilient Public Health Systems Post-Pandemic, Emerald Publishing Limited, Bingley, pp. 153-175. https://doi.org/10.1108/978-1-80262-115-020231011
Emerald Publishing Limited
Copyright © 2023 Kahler W. Stone