Healthcare workers experience unique workplace demands and are at higher risk of poor mental health and occupation burnout than other occupations. Public health crises, such as the COVID-19 pandemic, intensify existing stressors and create additional challenges, such as increased workload, new workplace practices, redeployment and social change. The pandemic highlighted the need to develop strategies and services to ‘future-proof’ the mental health and wellbeing of this workforce.
In 2020, our survey, the Australian COVID-19 Frontline Health Workers Study examined the severity and prevalence of mental health issues, as well as the social, workplace and financial disruptions experienced by Australian healthcare workers during the COVID-19 pandemic. With over 9500 respondents, it was the largest multi-occupation survey globally. Our results provide key learnings and recommendations for preparing and responding to future crises.