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$1 million targeted to mental health support for students and healthcare workers

Congressman Brian Higgins announced the federal grant will support UB's Health and Public Safety Workforce Resiliency Training Program.
Credit: AP
FILE - In this Wednesday, May 27, 2020 file photo, Medical personnel adjust their personal protective equipment while working in the emergency department at NYC Health + Hospitals Metropolitan in New York. Hospitals and nursing homes in New York are bracing for the possibility that a statewide COVID-19 vaccine mandate for health care workers could lead to staff shortages when it takes effect Monday, Sept. 27, 2021. Doctors and nurses — and also support staff, like food service workers and cleaners — have been given until Sept. 27 to get at least their first vaccine shot in one of the nation's most aggressive plans to protect patients. (AP Photo/John Minchillo, File)

BUFFALO, N.Y. — More help is on the way to address the mental health concerns among healthcare professionals and students in underserved communities.

Congressman Brian Higgins (D-26) announced a $1 million federal grant will support the University at Buffalo Health and Public Safety Workforce Resiliency Training Program.

“The COVID-19 pandemic has put a considerable amount of pressure on New York State’s healthcare system, especially on workers who have been on the front lines of the pandemic since day one,” said Congressman Higgins. “This grant provides critical funding for training to better address burnout and mental health, while promoting resiliency among healthcare professionals working in underserved communities.”

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The UB program aims to cultivate resilience among healthcare professional through mindful approaches to workplace burnout. It will also work to develop activities designed to reduce stress, suicide and mental health conditions among healthcare students, residents, among others, in rural and medically underserved communities.

“Addressing the mental health of our healthcare workforce is something we take quite seriously,” said Dr. Yu-Ping Chang, the University at Buffalo School of Nursing’s Senior Associate Dean and Principal Investigator on the grant. “Even prior to COVID, nurses, physicians, and other healthcare professionals were experiencing a high level of stress and fatigue. The pandemic has only added to this problem. Caring for oneself while in the midst of caring for others is a demanding challenge, requiring specific attention and dedicated time to practice, which we will address through this very important project.”

All trainings will be offered to those taking part free of charge. The federal grant will go towards hiring personnel to carry out the program and to cover the costs associated with conducting trainings.

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