Assuaging COVID-19 Peritraumatic Distress Among Mental Health Clinicians: The Potential of Self-Care

J. Jay Miller, Sheila Barnhart, Tay D. Robinson, Montrell D. Pryor, Kathryn D. Arnett

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

7 Scopus citations


Undoubtedly, the 2019 novel coronavirus, also known as COVID-19, has put mental health clinicians under stress. Despite the promise of self-care in assuaging stress, very few, if any, studies have investigated the impact of self-care on stress among mental health professionals. This exploratory study examined COVID-19 related distress, self-care, and the predictive relationship between the two. Primary data were collected from a sample of mental health social work clinicians in one southeastern state (N = 1568). Results indicate that participants were experiencing mild peritraumatic distress associated with COVID-19. Participants who were married, identified as heterosexual or straight, financially stable, and in good physical/mental health were experiencing less distress than other mental health clinicians in the sample. Analyses revealed that higher self-care practices predict significantly less distress. Overall, data suggest that self-care can be integral to assuaging distress among mental health clinicians. This study offers insight into how to support mental health practitioners during COVID-19.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)505-514
Number of pages10
JournalClinical Social Work Journal
Issue number4
StatePublished - Dec 2021

Bibliographical note

Publisher Copyright:
© 2021, The Author(s), under exclusive licence to Springer Science+Business Media, LLC, part of Springer Nature.


  • COVID-19
  • Clinicians
  • Distress
  • Mental health
  • Self-care
  • Social work

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Health(social science)
  • Public Health, Environmental and Occupational Health


Dive into the research topics of 'Assuaging COVID-19 Peritraumatic Distress Among Mental Health Clinicians: The Potential of Self-Care'. Together they form a unique fingerprint.

Cite this