65: Sending Out An S.O.S.
On April 26, 2020 as New York City was reeling from the first, unrelenting wave of the coronavirus pandemic in the US, Dr. Lorna Breen died by suicide. Dr. Breen spent the three weeks before her death recovering from her own COVID-19 infection, working a nearly unbroken string of 12-16 hour shifts treating COVID-19 patients—often without adequate supplies, PPE, and support—all while being exposed to an unfathomable amount of death and human misery. Despite being aware of and having published on the risks and phenomenon of burnout in emergency care medicine, Lorna was afraid to seek help out of fear it would irreparably damage the career she had spent her entire life building. Her death spurred global awareness, a movement, and national legislation, led in part by her sister and brother-in-law, to reduce burnout of health care professionals, safeguard their well-being, and restore joy to the healing professions.
In this episode we meet Jennifer and Corey Feist, co-founders of the Dr. Lorna Breen Heroes’ Foundation, US Senator Tim Kaine, co-sponsor of the Dr. Lorna Breen Health Care Provider Protection Act, and nurse and researcher Christopher Friese, a national authority on the nursing workforce and healthcare workplace safety to learn about ending the culture of fear regarding seeking mental health support within healthcare, the urgent need for healthcare organizations to build cultures that protect our healers, the importance of making sure that our workforce feels valued and supported at work, and the need to take care of each other and the vulnerabilities that we all have. If you or someone you know is in crisis, please call the National Suicide Prevention Lifeline at 800.273.TALK (8255). It’s confidential and available 24/7. Email us at [email protected]
For additional resources, visit our website at www.seeyounowpodcast.com