June is Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD) Awareness Month. It is intended to raise public awareness about issues related to PTSD, reduce the stigma associated with PTSD and help ensure that those suffering from unseen wounds receive proper treatment.
The American Psychiatric Association describes PTSD as a “psychiatric disorder that can occur in people who have experienced or witnessed a traumatic event such as a natural disaster, a serious accident, a terrorist act, war/combat, rape or other violent personal assault.”
At INTEGRIS Health, we recognize the toll the COVID-19 pandemic has taken on caregivers, especially those on the front lines. National surveys report that health care workers are experiencing:
* Emotional exhaustion
* Trouble sleeping
* Physical exhaustion
* Work-related dread
* Physical symptoms
* Compassion fatigue
* Anxiety (generalized)
Kerri Bayer, the Chief Nurse Executive at INTEGRIS Health, says these are natural responses to all they have witnessed in the past year. “Because of COVID-19 our caregivers have seen more death, more isolation and more fear than what is typical. They have worried about and mourned patients, family members and friends. It’s been difficult and demanding but they were so busy they were able to suppress and push through.”
She adds, “Now that things are starting to relax, many caregivers are finally able to release what they have kept bottled up inside. This can be therapeutic but also unsettling.”
You don’t have to be in health care to be feeling this way. Symptoms should not be ignored and cannot be expected it to go away on their own. Addressing trauma from COVID-19 is a crucial step to returning to our pre-pandemic lives.
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INTEGRIS Health offers a variety of resources to aid caregivers and physicians who might be suffering from any of the symptoms listed above including:
* Well-being workshops
* RISE – Resilience In Stressful Events (physicians)
* Weekly Zoom meditations, Monthly Health Essentials, Mindfulness Stress Reduction
* Wellness Wednesdays
* Elevating for Excellence
* Suicide Prevention Programs
* Podcasts, outdoor events and leader toolkits coming soon
If you think you or a loved one may be suffering from PTSD or if your PTSD symptoms have worsened due to the pandemic, contact an INTEGRIS Health professional today.
At INTEGRIS Health, treatment and counseling are available for those who have been diagnosed with PTSD. The first step is identifying the problem and speaking with a trusted health care professional about your options.
The staff at INTEGRIS Decisions Mental Health and Addiction Recovery Programs is available if you need help. Decisions offers treatment for both adults and adolescents. Simply call them at 405-717-9840 to learn more about the mental health services offered.

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