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PA Resources for Mental Health Awareness Month


May is Mental Health Awareness Month. Roughly 24% of Ohioans experienced a mental illness in the past year. In addition, the number and rate of suicide deaths in Ohio has steadily increased in recent years, with an increase in rate of 22.3% from 2010 to 2021 according to data from Ohio Department of Mental Health and Addiction Services (ODMHAS).

We recognize that PAs are a critical part of a health care workforce that has seen a surge in burnout in recent years. Nationally, about 41% of PAs report experiencing at least one of the three symptoms of burnout: feelings of energy depletion or emotional exhaustion, increased mental distance or cynicism toward work, and reduced performance (AAPA).

Fortunately, most PAs continue to feel satisfied with their career choice and feel optimistic about the future of the profession (AAPA, NCCPA). It can be difficult to distinguish feelings of burnout from more serious mental health disorders like major depression or generalized anxiety as there are certainly overlapping features. What is important is to recognize that burnout is an occupational phenomenon and isn’t necessarily used to describe other areas of life. Symptoms range from absences from work and work-related errors to frustration with your colleagues and feeling emotionally numb in the work environment.

PAs who experience burnout are at an increased risk for impairment from either mental health or substance use disorders and physical problems that can compromise patient care, their career and relationships. PAs should remain aware that Ohio has laws to address impaired providers including an ethical and statutory duty to report misconduct. PAs can find more information here about their duty to report. The State Medical Board of Ohio (SMBO) recently launched the Confidential Monitoring Program (formerly the One-bite Program) that provides a way for any Medical Board licensee or applicant who may be experiencing any issues that may be impacting their health and well-being to receive confidential treatment and support without disciplinary action. The program is currently being offered by Ohio Professionals Health Program (OhioPHP) and you can find more information on their website. 

OAPA would like to take this opportunity to celebrate Mental Health Awareness Month by providing wellness resources for PAs throughout Ohio. Managing stress and focusing on emotional, physical, social, workplace and societal well-being is one path toward preventing burnout. Finding the right support is critical in understanding your experience and identifying ways to prioritize your health and work toward recovery.

Wellness Resources

ODMHAS Ohio Department of Mental Health and Addiction Services

SAMHSA Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration

NAMI National Alliance on Mental Illness - NAMI is dedicated to building better lives for the millions of Americans affected by mental illness. Their Alliance includes more than 700 NAMI state organizations and affiliates who work in the community to raise awareness and provide support and education to those in need. NAMI Hotline (800) 950-6264

Suicide and Crisis Lifeline | 988 Ohioans who are experiencing a mental health or addiction crisis, and their family members, can call, text, or chat the 988 Suicide & Crisis Lifeline to reach a trained specialist who can offer help and support. The 3-digit number provides 24/7, free and confidential support to Ohioans in a behavioral health crisis.

ADAMHS Board Alcohol, Drug and Mental Health Services Board - Each county in Ohio has an ADAMHS Board that is responsible for evaluating, planning, funding, and monitoring services to help Ohioans who are dealing with a mental illness and/or addiction. Use the interactive map to find your county ADAMHS Board and identify available resources.

Well-being CARE Service Well-being Checkup And Referral Engagement Service - Access a voluntary and confidential questionnaire designed to assess your current state of mental health and well-being that will be reviewed by a mental health clinician from the OhioPHP who will respond with recommendations for mental health professionals if you are ready for the next step.

Emergency Contact Numbers 

Crisis Text Line- Text HELLO to 741-741

Ohio Careline

SAMHSA Disaster Distress Helpline
1-800-985-5991 Provides 24/7, 365 -day-a-year crisis counseling and support to people experiencing emotional distress related to natural or human-caused disasters. 

Veterans Crisis Line
Call 988 then press 1 or  Text 838-255

Wellness Resources 

Headspace - Evidence-based medication and mindfulness tools, mental health coaching, therapy, psychiatry services to create habits to support mental well-being. Currently free for healthcare professionals with an NPI#. 

Calm - Currently offering free resources for practical tools to help you rest and recover.

Palouse Mindfulness- Free online Mindfulness-Based Stress Reduction (MBSR) course that teaches a new theme and mindfulness-based practice weekly over 8 weeks.

10 Percent Happier- Free meditations, podcasts, blog posts, and talks to help build resilience and find some calm amidst the chaos of life.

RISHI - The Remen Institute for the Study of Health & Illness offers innovative educational programs and supportive communities to provide innovative tools, practices and resources for health professionals to sustain their service values, humanity and passion for work.

AAPA Resources - A curated collection of resources to help PAs and PA students manage their stress, find meaning and purpose in their work and life, and achieve well-being including fact sheets, original research, webinars and podcasts.

TED Talks - A collection of talks for when you are feeling burned out and need something to ease your frustration and get you back in the spirit.

American Meditation Institute - Sunday meditation. Online via Zoom 9:30 -11:00 a.m. EST

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