Health care workers experience more stress as COVID-19 numbers rise


SIOUX FALLS, S.D. (KELO) — The COVID-19 pandemic has been physically and mentally draining for a lot of people for the last year, and now as cases rise again with the Delta variant, it could cause certain stressors to come back for some.

Thomas Otten, Assistant Vice President of Avera Behavioral Health, says they saw their busiest summer on record in 2020, and this year their numbers have been even higher. He says depression is at an all time high and suicide rates are rising.

“I think even those who aren’t feeling the full affects of depression or anxiety or suicide attempts, there’s a term that social psychologists have termed ‘languishing,’ which is kind of just what a lot of people are feeling. It may not be, I just don’t feel like I have goals like I had before or I’m kind of going through day after day with not quite as much mission as I had prior to the pandemic,” Otten said.

The last year has been especially hard on health care workers who had to experience the COVID-19 virus firsthand everyday.

In Monday night’s Eye on KELOLAND, I’ll take a look at the mental toll the pandemic has taken on health care workers and the stressors mental health experts are seeing.

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