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Helping the Helpers: Addressing Burnout Among Mental Health Workers During Trying Times

The Cortina Method utilizes brain-based techniques to help clinicians rapidly resolve their own trauma and prevent burnout

CHICAGO, IL / ACCESSWIRE / September 27, 2023 / The past few years have been extraordinarily difficult for people across the country. From the COVID-19 pandemic to devastating natural disasters, communities have endured immense hardship and trauma. This has led to skyrocketing rates of anxiety, depression, PTSD, and other mental health conditions, leaving mental health professionals flooded with patients in crisis.

Yet even as demand increases, the very workers we count on to provide counseling and care find themselves plagued by burnout. According to the American Psychological Association, nearly half of mental health providers report symptoms of burnout, while others are leaving the field entirely. This comes at a time when their services couldn't be more vital.

Nowhere is this dichotomy more visible than in communities freshly stricken by disasters. Take Maui, where the tragic wildfires destroyed thousands of acres, destroyed homes and livelihoods, and killed at least 115 people with over 1000 people still missing. The devastation took a massive mental health toll on residents, many of whom have struggled with post-traumatic stress. Yet with only around 150 mental health professionals on the island to serve its 150,000 residents, help is hard to come by.

Overwork and emotional exhaustion are driving many providers to cut back hours or leave patient care altogether. A recent study by the Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration (SAMHSA) found nearly 50% of behavioral health staff experience burnout, which can spur serious health issues like hypertension, insomnia, and depression. Other providers retire early, unable to cope with the relentless stress.

With the added challenges of an aging workforce and difficulties attracting new talent, experts warn this employee exodus could reach crisis levels in coming years. Already, nearly 130 million Americans live in areas with a shortage of mental health professionals. If we fail to address what's driving clinicians to the breaking point, vulnerable populations may completely lose access to care.

Stemming the tide of burnout while meeting escalating patient demand will require sweeping action across healthcare systems, workplaces, and society as a whole. Experts think we must confront the stigma around mental health issues that keeps many from seeking appropriate care, and overhaul education and licensing pathways so new graduates can enter the field without amassing mountains of student debt, and enact comprehensive clinician wellness programs and high-quality self-care training so providers don't merely survive, but thrive.

Michael Cortina speaks about The Cortina Method at a special event
Michael Cortina speaks about The Cortina Method at a special event

Several promising initiatives aim to address this crisis head-on. Michael Cortina, Founder of the Cortina Method, is a Licensed Clinical Social Worker and PTSD Resolution Expert, specializes in helping mental health practitioners overcome burnout. Cortina is the Founder & Creator of The Cortina Method, a brain-based healing methodology to resolve trauma, which is highly effective and efficient and can help therapists heal and return to treating the patients, who desperately need their help.

Cortina explains. "When clinicians can build resilience and replenish their reserves, they have so much more capacity to contribute during difficult times." By acknowledging the mounting stresses facing our mental health workforce and taking steps to protect those who care for our most vulnerable, we not only strengthen systems to help communities persevere now-we build their capacity to face whatever lies ahead. If the pandemic taught us anything, it's that our collective mental health is connected, and we rise or fall together. Just as clinicians show up for their patients, we must now show up for them.


The Cortina Method, LLC is training practitioners across the county to treat people with PTSD with a unique methodology that shows rapid, highly-favorable outcomes for patients. Creator and Founder Michael Cortina is a PTSD Resolution Expert, who developed The Cortina Method's brain-based model after becoming frustrated at the minimal results he saw traditional therapy models produced. A Licensed Clinical Social Worker (LCSW) and Licensed Clinical Addiction Counselor (LCAC), Cortina and The Cortina Method are on a quest to help survivors of PTSD experience unparalleled outcomes with their ultimate mission: to create an Army of Healers to heal, inspire, and invigorate one million people with PTSD. For more information, visit For additional information, visit The Cortina Method on Facebook or YouTube.


Michael Cortina

SOURCE: The Cortina Method, LLC

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