W31 – Mental Health Impact After Close to 3 Years of the COVID-19 Pandemic

W31 – Mental Health Impact After Close to 3 Years of the COVID-19 Pandemic

Friday, Oct. 28
14:30 – 15:30 (1 hr)
Meeting Room: Willow (Mezzanine)
Frank G. Sommers*, MD, FRCPC, DLFAPA, DFCPA; Rima Styra, MD, MEd, FRCPC; Janet Ellis, MBBChir, FRCPC; Jodi Lofchy, MD, FRCPC
Supported by the Section on Disaster Psychiatry

CanMEDS Roles:

  1. Medical Expert
  2. Collaborator
  3. Leader

At the end of this session, participants will be able to: 1) Identify burnout, compassion fatigue, and distress in health care workers; 2) Reflect on risk and protective factors for mental distress; and 3) Become familiar with a major hospital’s approach to apply positive mental health practices.

As we approach the end of the third year of the SARS-CoV-2 pandemic, our presentation will focus on the mental health impacts on providers of care, including burnout, compassion fatigue, and moral distress in organizational systems, and ways to mitigate them. We will highlight such work (the STEADY wellness program) in a tertiary care hospital as an illustrative example. Then, we will turn our attention to important clinical issues impacting on patients, informed by the past nearly three years of experience, including lessons learned regarding in-person versus virtual care and patients’ isolation.


  1. Styra R, Hawryluck L, Mc Geer A, et al. Surviving SARS and living through COVID-19: healthcare worker mental health outcomes and insights for coping. PLoS One 2021;16(11):e0258893.
  2. Saunders NR, Toulany A, Bhumika D, et al. Acute mental health service use following onset of the COVID-19 pandemic in Ontario, Canada: a trend analysis. CMAJ Open 2021;9(4):E988–E997.