Bon Secours Mercy Health Director Discusses Response to Mental, Behavioral Health

Bon Secours Mercy Health System Medical Director for Behavioral Health W. Carson Felkel II, M.D., FAPA, joined associate professor at Purdue University School of Nursing and co-author of The Influence of Psychological Trauma in Nursing Karen J. Foli, PhD, RN, ANEF, FAAN, as well as Beth Steinberg, staff development coordinator of health and well-being for Ohio State University Wexner Medical Center, for the HealthLeaders Healthcare Workforce NOW virtual summit focused on responding to mental and behavioral health crises.

“At Bon Secours Mercy Health, we’re a big believer in peer support: clinical colleagues caring for clinical colleagues. So, in addition to our integrated resilience resources (BeWell) and our counseling and mental health resources (LifeMatters), as a Catholic health system we have a strong foundation of chaplains availably to support our teams’ spiritual needs,” Dr. Felkel said.

“We also created a program called Caring for Colleagues, which is a peer group led by a core group of psychologists and psychiatrists that is available 24/7 for confidential consults from any Bon Secours Mercy Health caregiver or associate.”

COVID-19 has had a serious impact on the health care workforce, and with physician burnout at an all-time high as well as compassion fatigue becoming more common among nursing staff, the panel addressed how hospitals and health systems can and are responding to mental and behavioral health crises that their employees are facing.

“Meeting people where they are has been tremendously effective. Since the beginning of the pandemic, we’ve helped 400 individuals,” Dr. Felkel said.

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