A COVID‑19 Patient Oriented Response and Recovery Effort: Working Across Sectors to Aid Healthcare Providers Suffering from Burnout, PTSD, or Treatment Resistant Depression (TRD)

Dames, Shannon S | $50,000

British Columbia Vancouver Island University 2020 CIHR Operating Grant

Workplace stress can lead to burnout, post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD), and treatment resistant depression which affects morale, absenteeism, retention, and patient care. The mental health of healthcare providers is understudied and inadequately supported, especially given the current pandemic. Starting with a robust knowledge synthesis process, our team will both examine and address workplace mental health wellness among healthcare providers and the community. The relationship between ketamine and the brain-behaviour relationships implicated in PTSD and treatment resistant depression is well supported and scientists have identified the therapeutic effects of ketamine may be potentiated by enhancing resiliency-based therapies. The focus of this application is a combination therapy involving the implementation of a successful evidence-informed resilience curriculum, Roots to Thrive (RTT) and Ketamine-assisted Psychotherapy (KAP). Our team aims to capitalize on the potential synergy of these two interventions and build on current treatment protocol inefficiencies to provide a novel, evidence-based, and sustainable intervention for PTSD and/or treatment resistant depression among healthcare professionals. RTT has undergone two successful pilots, demonstrating statistically significant impact on wellness traits of the participants. Ketamine is an FDA-approved drug. It’s off-label use for treatment resistant depression and PTSD has been described as the single most important advance in the treatment of depression in over fifty years. We are collaborating with policy makers, researchers, and clinicians who have experience with this treatment. Beginning with healthcare providers in need (as team members and patients), our team will examine and synthesize knowledge through a literature review, protocol development, and evaluation plan, all of which will support program development and a study of this novel intervention for PTSD and/or treatment resistant depression.

With funding from the Government of Canada

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