Credentialing & Privileging | 09.19.22
Remove Intrusive Mental Health Questions from Credentialing Applications
Clinicians aren’t seeking mental health care, despite their high rates of burnout and stress, which were then exacerbated by the pandemic.
Why? A large reason is that clinicians fear losing their license and credentials because of intrusive mental health questions on applications that are not only stigmatizing, discriminatory, and violate privacy in the workplace, they may even violate the ADA.
Due to the fear of seeking help and potential workplace retributions, many clinicians have suffered mentally and physically, and some have taken their own lives. Unfortunately, this is personal to most of us because we have felt the loss of someone who should still be here today--like the co-founders of The Dr. Lorna Breen Heroes’ Foundation, which has since taken a leading role in creating a nationwide movement to change how clinicians access mental health care.
The Foundation’s Licensure & Credentialing Strategy Tool Kit is a culmination of ongoing work to equip hospitals, health systems, and state-level institutions with three critical steps to remove this barrier to accessing mental health care:
- Audit all credentialing applications, addendums, and peer review forms.
- Change any invasive or stigmatizing language around mental health.
- Communicate these changes to your workforce and assure clinicians that it is safe for them to seek care.
Ensuring that clinicians can access necessary mental health care not only benefits their well-being, but it also improves the health of our entire country. As of today, there are 17 states that have implemented ADA-compliant language on licensure paperwork and more are actively pursuing this change. By prioritizing clinician well-being, patient outcomes will improve, because to care for others, clinicians must first be cared for themselves.
Use this tool kit with your leadership and team to take transparent and measurable action in supporting your most valuable resource: your workforce.