PS1c – Resilience Coaching for Health Care Workers: Providers’ Perspectives on a Staff Support Program During the COVID-19 Pandemic

PS1c – Resilience Coaching for Health Care Workers: Providers’ Perspectives on a Staff Support Program During the COVID-19 Pandemic

Friday, Oct. 28
14:30 – 15:30 (N/A)
Meeting Room: Cedar (Mezzanine)
Benjamin Rosen, MD; Mary Preisman, MD; Heather Read, PhD; Robert Maunder, MD; Deanna Chaukos, MD; Rebecca A. Greenberg, PhD; Lianne Jeffs, PhD; Lesley Wiesenfeld, MD

CanMEDS Roles:

  1. Health Advocate
  2. Professional
  3. Scholar

At the end of this session, participants will be able to: 1) Describe the resilience coaching intervention as an example of staff support for frontline health care workers during the COVID-19 pandemic; 2) Identify some of the challenges and benefits described by resilience coaches in delivering the intervention and how these results are echoed in other research; and 3) Understand the possibilities inherent in the resilience coaching model and various strategies to implement such a model.

Health care workers (HCWs) providing care during COVID-19 face threats to mental health and resilience. Supporting HCWs requires an evidence-based, adaptive approach. Based on previous experience supporting colleagues during outbreaks of infectious disease, our team implemented an initiative to support frontline colleagues, called “resilience coaching.” Coaches are clinicians who offer opportunities for decompression, collaborative advocacy, and education about stress reduction.

Purpose: Through qualitative inquiry, this paper explores the experiences of delivering resilience coaching. This study contributes to knowledge about the experience of delivering staff support interventions during COVID-19.
Method: We conducted a qualitative inquiry into resilience coaching. As part of this inquiry, interviews with 13 coaches were conducted using the hospital’s videoconferencing program. Interviews were transcribed and then analyzed with a grounded theory approach.

Results: Coaches reported that supporting colleagues added meaning to their work. They noted challenges, such as finding time in busy schedules, balancing role tensions, and overcoming personal burnout. Resilience coaching was developed by a team from consultation-liaison psychiatry who was well-positioned to support colleagues. Perspectives from those providing support are an important consideration in developing support programs for staff. Support programs such as this are important during crisis and recovery phases.

Conclusion: Resilience Coaching provides one model for supporting frontline HCWs in hospitals. Further research can reveal the degree to which the intervention may be transferrable to other contexts.


  1. Rosen B, Preisman M, Hunter J, et al. Applying psychotherapeutic principles to bolster resilience among health care workers during the COVID-19 pandemic. Am J Psychother 2020;73:144–8.
  2. Billings J, Biggs C, Ching B, et al. Experiences of mental health professionals supporting front-line health and social care workers during COVID-19: qualitative study. BJPsych Open 2021;7(2):E70.