WASHINGTON, D.C. (BRPROUD) Hospitals have become overrun with patients that have been diagnosed with COVID-19, and healthcare workers are more stressed than ever. On Friday, Aug. 6, United States Senators Bill Cassidy of Louisiana and Tim Kaine of Virginia applauded the Senate passage of the Dr. Lorna Breen Health Care Provider Protection Act, which aims to prevent burnout, suicide, mental and behavioral health issues in health care workers.

“Doctors, nurses and health care workers shoulder the responsibility of saving lives and have worked overtime during the pandemic,” said Cassidy.

According to Mental Health America, 93% of health care workers were experiencing stress, 86% reported experiencing anxiety, 77% reported frustration, 76% reported exhaustion and burnout and 75% said they were overwhelmed.

The Dr. Lorna Breen Health Care Provider Protection Act would establish grants for training health care professionals in strategies that address mental health and substance use disorders.

Mental Health America also reported that 39% of healthcare workers said that they did not feel like they had adequate emotional support. 45% of nurses said they were even less likely to have emotional support.

Healthcare entities, such as hospitals and community health clinics, will also receive grants for health care provider information and programs to prevent suicide and promote mental health. The act will prioritize shortage or rural health clinics.

The act will require identification of the best practices for improving mental health and will establish national awareness initiatives to encourage health care professionals to seek support for their mental health.

“Passing this bill through the Senate is one step closer to providing an important lifeline for medical professionals so they too can get the care they need,” Cassidy said.