In my last blog post, “Boosting team resilience,” I briefly touched upon the need to recognize the pandemic-related trauma experienced by staff members and to better prepare for future catastrophes.
The potential passage of the Build Back Better Act, with “roughly $150 billion to boost HCBS under Medicaid and $329 million in grant funding for recruiting, retaining and training long-term care workers,” as McKnight’s Danielle Brown reports, offers an opportunity to do just that.
In addition to the emotional distress caused by the pandemic, the reality is that we have ignored the mental health challenges of workers forever. The death of a beloved resident, the abusive family member, the staff conflict, the aggressive behavior of a resident with dementia – we have left workers to manage these situations and their emotional reactions largely on their own. It’s no wonder we have a turnover problem.
The pandemic has changed the way society discusses and seeks emotional support, with more openness about the value of mental healthcare and increased use of technologies such as telehealth. We can and should be participating in this cultural shift. With new funding streams, this is our chance.