Director of Counseling and Psychological Services and Lecturer in Psychology David Walden co-authored a paper that was recently published by Mantra Health. “College Counseling Center Study Reveals Widespread Care Provider Burnout Driven by COVID-19,” written with Harry Rockland-Miller of the University of Massachusetts Amherst, presents findings from a national survey of higher education counseling center directors and clinicians conducted in late 2020.
The authors said that even before the COVID-19 pandemic, the number of students requesting services from college counseling services was rising and the level of complexity of the services being provided was also increasing.
The study showed that increasing levels of stress and anxiety reported by students due to the pandemic has led to high levels of burnout reported by college counseling center directors and clinical staff. Many of the survey respondents pointed to the increased workload as a detriment to being able to provide quality care.
Walden said the findings concern him because “the impact of the subsequent burnout, isolation, and reduced capacity for self-care means that not only will we be less effective in this work, but we will likely see increased turnover and less people willing to enter into the field.”
The paper also includes ways and burnout and work-related stress can be reduced, based in part on survey feedback.