Public Health Workers Are Suffering, Too

COVID-19’s mental health toll on health care workers has been documented—but what about public health workers?

A new CDC survey shows that they experienced impacts comparable to other health workers. 

Over half (53%) of 26,174 US public health workers reported symptoms of at least 1 mental health condition—including depression, anxiety, PTSD, or suicidal ideation.

Key takeaways:


  • Reporting the most difficulties: Workers ≤29 years, transgender or nonbinary persons of all ages, and those unable to take time off or working ≥41 hours per week. 

  • Public health workers reported similar prevalence of depression and anxiety to other health care workers—but 10%–20% higher prevalence of PTSD symptoms than other health care workers, frontline personnel, and the general public.

Traumatic events or stressors cited include feeling overwhelmed by the pandemic workload, job-related threats, and feeling bullied, threatened, or harassed.
CDC Morbidity and Mortality Weekly Report

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