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Report  |  March 2023

A National Crisis: Mental Health Disorders and Workforce Shortages in the Healthcare Sector – New York State Case Study

By Nam D. Pham, Ph.D., Mary Donovan, and Bridgette Wiefling, MD

Even before the COVID-19 pandemic, the healthcare sector was experiencing workforce shortages. Since then, the pandemic has turned a challenge into a crisis. Healthcare practitioners, technicians, and support staff suffer from burnout, with no end in sight. Mental health conditions are forcing workers to choose between leaving the sector or “toughing it out,” leading to an increased prevalence of mental health disorders and suicide. Government, industry, and communities all have a stake in the future of healthcare. Together, they must take steps to protect the mental health of the current workers and invest in recruiting more talent to restore the resiliency of the healthcare workforce. The U.S. military experience exemplifies the significant effort required to address these challenges.