Congress needs to pass the Dr. Lorna Breen act to support U.S. health care workers

May 25, 2021

STAT

Even before Covid-19 hit, physicians had the highest death rate by suicide of any profession in the country. Now, nearly 60% report experiencing burnout, a surge that suggests worrisome trends for health care workers. A recent poll from the American College of Emergency Physicians found that 73% of emergency physicians said they were concerned about stigma if they sought mental health support, and 57% reported they would be concerned about losing their jobs if they sought mental health treatment.

Like Lorna, many physicians are worried that seeking support will lead to the perception that they are unfit to care for patients. Physicians say they are anxious about reporting requirements on job applications or medical licensing applications/renewals in certain states. Despite being a violation of the Americans With Disabilities Act, some state medical license applications ask broad questions about mental health history.

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