WINDSOR, ONT. -- A local study is asking all local healthcare workers to complete a short survey indicating how the continued efforts of working in healthcare through the COVID-19 pandemic is affecting their mental health.

It’s the second part of a study launched in June and is made possible through the Igniting Discovery grant program from WE-SPARK Health Institute, Hotel-Dieu Grace Healthcare is leading the study with research partners from University of Windsor and St. Clair College.

“The goal is to explore ways in which we can support, promote and restore the emotional well-being of healthcare staff who have experienced so much during the COVID-19 pandemic,” said a news release from HDGH.

Completion of the survey during the second wave of COVID-19 will allow the team to compare overall trends.

Ema Sisic, a social worker at the regional children’s centre, said walking into work was completely different once the pandemic hit.

“Initially, it was quite stressful, we didn’t know what we were walking into,” she said.

Sisic was moved to the rehab unit to help those patients who could no longer see family.

“As healthcare workers, we still experience effects of COVID in our personal lives which is then compounded by showing up to work every day,” she said.


June's survey saw the participation of over 400 healthcare workers. The team is hoping to get the same response if not more this time around.

The completion of this survey is voluntary and responses will remain anonymous. It will capture sociodemographic information, occupation and work history among other things.

It is open to anyone working for a healthcare organization or in the healthcare profession. This could include, but are not limited to "medical" and/or "clinical" professionals (physicians, nurses, personal support workers, dentists, optometrists, first responders, pharmacists, medical laboratory technicians, etc.) and "nonmedical" personnel (administrators, clerical staff, dietary, facilities and maintenance workers, etc.)

Part two of the survey is open from Oct. 26 to the end of November, with a goal of sharing study findings in the new year.

"Results from our first survey showed that many of our local healthcare professionals were experiencing high levels of psychological distress during the early months of the COVID-19 pandemic, which was influenced by increased job stress, concerns about being infected with COVID-19 and then passing the disease on to family members, and concerns about access to appropriate personal protective equipment" said Jennifer Voth, research associate at HDGH.

The survey found 70 per cent of participants were experiencing high levels of psychological distress including depressed mood, nervousness and restlessness.

“There’s this really clear need to really support and safeguard the emotional well-being of our local healthcare work force,” Voth said.

Those who worked in hospital reported the highest level of stress.

“We can really make these targeted recommendations to leaders about what they can do in order to address the emotional needs of their staff,” she said.

The 15-20 minute survey can be found on the HDGH website.