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The Importance of Increasing Access to care for Burnout and Depression

burnout and mental health support group

According to a study conducted by Indeed, worker burnout and depression is on the rise. Indeed conducted a small survey of 1,500 U.S workers of a variety of age groups, experience levels and industry sectors. The survey findings reported that 52% of respondents are currently experiencing burnout and depression at work. A whopping 80% reported that COVID-19 has impacted workplace burnout and depression. With this mental health crisis on the rise, increasing access to care for burnout and depression has never been more important for fighting the stresses of daily life.

What is burnout and how is it distinguished from depression or exhaustion?

Burnout is defined as an occupational chronic exposure to stress; however, burnout can also be seen in caregivers, individuals with chronic medical conditions, parents, and students.

Burnout is characterized with symptoms of extreme exhaustion, feeling down, and lethargic; it can present similarly as depression but should not be treated as such. It is when low self-esteem, hopelessness, and/or suicidal ideation are part of the mix that the presentation leans more towards depression. 

Although the distinction between burnout and depression is not always obvious, burnout requires a different treatment. Psychotherapy has been shown to be a very effective treatment for burnout. In the event that medication is prescribed, it is recommended that psychological treatment is received in parallel with the medication. Some non-drug treatment options for burnout include:

  • Group and individual psychotherapy
  • CBT and EMDR
  • Psychoeducation
  • Coping skills and stress management
  • Mindfulness practices
  • Lifestyle changes

Symptoms and Causes of Burnout and Depression

While they may have similar symptoms, burnout and depression are two very different obstacles that people face. Unsure if you’re burnt out or depressed?



The Importance of seeking help

This is a mental health crisis. 77% of workers report that they have experienced burnout in their current job; a sizeable increase from previous years exacerbated by lockdowns and telework policies due to COVID-19. Virtual IOP’s enable those who wouldn’t otherwise be able to participate in treatment such as caregivers with ongoing demands, individuals with transportation or mobility issues, or those who live in an underserved area and cannot make the commute to an in-person program.

In-person treatment is necessary and life saving for acute cases; however, for many people struggling with burnout, anxiety, or depression, virtual mental health programs have been shown to be highly effective at reducing symptoms and severity of mental health conditions.

Without adequate and timely treatment for burnout, it can lead to debilitating physical problems such as high blood pressure, muscle tension, gastrointestinal distress, insomnia, and even substance abuse.

In Clear’s Virtual IOP, burnout is addressed by taking a multimodal approach to therapy using a combination of process groups, psychoeducation groups, experiential groups, and mindfulness practice/education over a 6-8 week period so that clients can acquire the tools necessary to achieve long term mental health recovery.



When to refer to a higher level of care for burnout?

  • If clients are exhibiting self-harm behaviors
  • Clients have a time-limit for treatment (e.g. disability, school, …)
  • Client needs more day-to-day structure and more weekly touchpoints with a therapist
  • Client dysregulates very easily
  • Current sessions are mainly focused on managing crises instead of deeper work

Virtual IOP treatment is also a great adjunct therapy to other mental health treatments such as transcranial magnetic stimulation, MeRT Therapy, general psychiatry, and talk therapy.

Questions? Contact us!

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