Over the last few years, nurses have encountered unique challenges and stressors, struggling with mental health. Yet, many barriers exist to obtaining the needed resources for nurse well-being and wellness. Difficult-to-access resources and high costs make these vital services out of reach for many nurses who struggle with PTSD, stress, and anxiety, among other mental health concerns, especially since the pandemic.
As a nurse myself, I see it all around me. Seventeen years ago, as new nurses, we had veteran nurses teaching and supporting us as recent grads. Now, nurses leave their jobs after one year because of stress, burnout, and other wellness concerns. I experienced compassion fatigue and left the bedside, but I continue mentoring, educating, and supporting nurses. To provide exemplary patient care, we must first care for ourselves.
What Has Changed?
Since the pandemic, many people are no longer willing to sacrifice their mental health for their jobs. Our work environments have changed, but many obstacles remain to accessing mental health resources and support. There is a lack of psychiatric prescribers and half of US counties don’t have a single psychiatrist. Brighid Gannon, DNP, PMHNP-BC, mentions prescription stigma, stating that too few psychiatrists, Psychiatric NPs, and therapists take insurance.
In addition, Trusted Health reported that two-thirds of nurses said that mental health support in the healthcare industry has not changed since the start of the pandemic. Many nurses don’t feel supported by their jobs to obtain services. They don’t report mental health concerns to their managers due to the stigma and fear of it negatively impacting their careers.
Staggering Decline in Nurse Mental Health
In a recent Trusted Health survey, nurses reported their mental health had decreased by about 26% since before Covid, rating their well-being at an average of 5.8 out of 10 compared to 7.8 in previous years. Additionally, they reported various physical and mental health issues due to the pandemic, including burnout, compassion fatigue, and depression. Since the pandemic, 50% of nurses have experienced feelings of trauma, extreme stress, and PTSD.
The study also notes additional concerns nurses are facing:
- 64% said their physical health had declined since Covid-19 began
- 22% reported being physically attacked, intimidated, or assaulted by a patient or their family
- 10% reported suicidal thoughts
- 95% said their mental health was either not a priority or support and resources were insufficient in their workplace
Lavender Psychiatry Online Therapy—For Nurses by Nurses
Founded and operated by a passionate team of nurses, Lavender Psychiatry is rethinking mental health by leading the way in online therapy and psychiatry. They provide a modern mental health care experience by offering online treatment at a transparent and affordable price with convenient scheduling.
Lavender Psychiatry offers telepsychiatry, teletherapy, and online psychiatry services so that you can get support from the comfort of your home. They treat a variety of concerns, including anxiety, depression, Covid-related anxiety, and stress, among other significant mental health issues. You can talk with a board-certified psychiatric nurse practitioner from your home who can offer you prescriptions and supportive therapy. This supportive team of nurse practitioners includes educators and collaborators to help you achieve wellness on your mental health journey.
About the Co-Founders of Lavender Psychiatry
Brighid Gannon, DNP, PMHNP-BC, and Pritma Dhillon Chattha, DNP MHA RN, co-founders of Lavender Psychiatry, have been lifelong advocates for nurses and the nursing profession. Brighid and Pritma met at Yale, where they obtained their DNPs, and then in 2020, Lavender Psychiatry was born. They launched Lavender Psychiatry in 45 days to increase access to mental healthcare. Experiencing nurse compassion fatigue firsthand, they can empathize with their colleagues and are perfectly poised to support nurses’ mental well-being.
Brighid believes “mental health care is a human right and fundamental to our overall wellness.” Her mission is to re-imagine how healthcare professionals deliver psychiatric care to make the mental health journey more effortless, kind, and effective. Brighid has not seen a patient since 2020 due to experiencing caregiver fatigue herself.
“It is challenging to care for yourself when your job as a nurse is to all day long care for others. On top of that, most nurses are women, and women tend to bear the burden of emotional labor and caregiving at home. 85% of nurses are female, and women generally experience more stress and anxiety at work. The reasons for that are complex, but some of it has to do with continued sexism in the workplace” says Brighid.
Pritma and Brighid further discuss the impacts of Covid and how it has played a role in nurse well-being: “Nurses had to bear witness to a lot of death and human suffering during the pandemic. They were put into impossible situations where they were powerless to help their patients. Then they had to go home and worry about getting their loved ones sick.” They stress the need to bring awareness and support for all hospital and nursing home workers, even those who may not have provided direct patient care during Covid but were impacted indirectly by the trauma of the pandemic.
Pritma served on the nursing innovation council for the ANA, co-developed a toolkit for nurse entrepreneurs, and was invited to the White House Clinical Innovation Round Table to inform public policy and equity for digital health technology. She also contributed to expanding the scope of nurses and informing nurse prescribing policies as a member of the College of Registered Nurses of Alberta, Canada.
Brighid lobbies for a New York state nurse practitioner independent practice and a national healthcare program annually.
At Lavender Psychiatry, Pritma and Brighid are working on a nursing fellowship to better support recent NP graduates and a mentorship program for all nurse practitioners.
Lavender Psychiatry's Mission, Moonshot, and Mindset
Lavender Psychiatry has created an environment that is supportive of its clients and colleagues. Their team offers services provided by psychiatric nurse practitioners, most of whom began their careers as RNs at the bedside. Lavender Psychiatry also has nurses at all organizational levels—marketing, project management, and IT.
With Lavender Psychiatry, nurses have access to providers who truly understand their needs. These are the personal values that they live by:
- Mission: To create therapeutic journeys that are kind, convenient, and transparent so that people can flourish
- Moonshot: A world where feelings are felt, respected, and cared for
- Mindset: Be kind, act with integrity, grow together, be exceptional, celebrate and have fun, and nurture ideas (inclusivity, diversity, equity, access & service)
Recipient of the ANA Innovation Award
Lavender Psychiatry is a recipient of the 2021 American Nurses Association (ANA) Innovation Award. You can also find them on Psychology Today, Zocdoc, Zencare, and Headway.
Their nurses’ work in health informatics and psychiatry, particularly their research and publications as part of their doctoral programs, has ultimately improved nurse working conditions and patient outcomes.
Why Choose Lavender Psychiatry?
Lavender Psychiatry is a unique small business with a nurse-led care model that offers a safe place for nurses to discuss their mental health. Brighid and Pritma have increased access to much-needed support and resources with the following services:
- Prescription medication and talk therapy in one session
- In-network access for most insurance
- Affordable self-pay options
- Services in the states of NY, NJ, MA, FL, and WA
- A care concierge to assist you every step of the way
- Access to psychiatry, therapy, depression treatment, and anxiety treatment from home
How it Works
- Connect with Lavender Psychiatry via phone, text, or the Book Now page
- Complete online intake forms
- Join a video appointment by clicking on the link from them in your email
This article is sponsored by Lavender Psychiatry.