The COVID-19 pandemic has left no community untouched by trauma. It has brought death, loss, illness, isolation, and prolonged uncertainty to the global population on a massive scale. Healthcare professionals, first responders, educators, and frontline workers have faced relentless trauma in fields that were challenged by burnout to begin with.
The pandemic also laid bare the inequities and systemic injustices that prevent people from accessing resources and care when they need it most.
As researchers study the psychological and social impacts of the pandemic, the findings are concerning:
- increased domestic violence
- increased suicide attempts among adolescents
- increased symptoms of PTSD, such as hypervigilance
- decreased test scores among students
It’s never been more important for adults and children of all ages to have access to evidence-based trauma-relief tools. For healthcare systems, public safety departments, education systems, and essential service institutions, the need for effective, organization-wide programs to address trauma, stress, and burnout is a crucial component to workforce sustainability.
During the pandemic, we have continued to implement system-wide mind-body medicine programs in schools, hospitals, and healthcare systems.
The pandemic has also inspired those trained in the CMBM model to implement our healing tools and techniques in their communities. Daniel A. Winkle, MD, is a rehabilitation physician based in San Leandro, CA who had the idea to bring the CMBM model to his overworked, stressed staff of 50 during the pandemic. At the end of each shift, he created space for hospital staff to move their bodies, meditate, and share emotionally-challenging experiences from their lengthy shifts. Over time, his program attracted attention throughout the Alameda County Health System and laid the foundation for what will become a system-wide intervention for all 5,000 employees.