Improving the work life of providers is an increasingly elusive goal as the COVID-19 pandemic persists. At all clinical levels, but particularly those on the COVID front lines, the symptoms of burnout—stress and anxiety, physical and emotional exhaustion, grief and sadness, even anger and empathy fatigue—are widespread and growing.

VHAN is here to support our exhausted, overextended health care provider members with programs, resources and coping strategies targeted to easing your many pressures and bolstering your mental health.

• VHAN Care Management. Acting as an extension of your practice, the Care Management team alleviates burdens on staff by freeing up their time for other important tasks. Care Navigators can reach out to your patients with complex needs and help them get care they need in between visits. To take advantage of this service, fill out a provider referral form. And don’t miss this heartwarming video that shows the benefits to patients of these care extenders.

• VHAN Pediatric Behavioral Health Consult Line. Since 2018, we have handled close to 1,500 calls through a phone line dedicated to helping VHAN pediatricians care for their patients with behavioral health needs. These calls include medication consultations and psychiatric evaluations, shortening the long wait time for pediatric patients seeking mental health care. Call (615) 205-9367 for a real-time consult with a Licensed Clinical Social Worker Monday–Friday, 8 a.m.–4 p.m.

Virtual Series on Coping Strategies to Combat Pandemic Fatigue. We are collaborating with Vanderbilt Work/Life Connections-EAP to bring VHAN members a new series this fall to help clinicians combat persistent pandemic fatigue. Behavioral health experts will give clinicians practical coping strategies for strengthening their mental health. Learn more and sign up for the sessions at this link.

• Physician Support Line. Physician Support Line is a national, free, and confidential support line service made up of 600+ volunteer psychiatrists, joined together in the determined hope to provide peer support for our physician colleagues and American medical students as we all navigate the COVID-19 epidemic. No appointment is necessary. Call the national support line at 1-888-409-0141. Learn more at https://www.physiciansupportline.com/.

• Insights from a behavioral health expert. In this Q&A with Abhi Saxena, MD, MBA, the former medical director of hospital services for Vanderbilt Behavioral Health discusses chronic stress and how to manage this tough season of personal struggles and loss. You can watch Dr. Saxena’s presentation starting at minute 31:20 of this video.

• Health and well-being strategies on the VHAN Hub. The COVID-19 section of the Hub is stocked with insights for promoting mental resiliency, including this article on stress management tips for caregivers.

• Educational materials. From provider toolkits that aid in Transitions of Care to miniVHAN podcasts that share best practices in care delivery, VHAN tools can help you manage some of the overwhelming details of patient care. Explore the VHAN Hub for some of these supportive resources.

In the weeks to come, stay tuned for additional support aimed at reinforcing providers’ mental health, and reach out to info@vhan.com with specific requests.