WEST PALM BEACH, Fla. — Dr. Rachel Needle is one of 1.8 million people in Florida who was diagnosed with COVID-19.
“You have to be isolated which makes it even harder to be in the hospital and I definitely went through my stuff where there were times where I would cry,” she recalled.
Dr. Needle a licensed psychologist, said the time she spent physically recovering was paired with self-reflection.
“As a mental health professional, I think of myself also as an advocate and if I’m not speaking up about issues related to mental health and even being human in doing that, then I’m not staying true to who I am,” she said.
Dr. Needle said right now a big issue in the mental health profession is burnout.
“We’re creating space for our clients to process and work through things that maybe we as well are struggling with,” Dr. Needle said.
She and her colleague Amanda Patterson have created an online space called “My Private Practice Collective” where more than 16,000 mental health professionals can share resources to fight provider fatigue.
“So, burnout for a therapist is really worrisome because we have to be there and we have to be present, we have to be clear-headed,” Patterson said
Patterson, a licensed mental health counselor said her practice has doubled its number of clients. She said setting boundaries is critical.
“Creating balance between making sure we are serving our communities, but also referring out when necessary, or hiring, that’s been a big thing we’ve done,” she said.
Dr. Needle said just like her clients she too practices self-care.
“Taking time for ourselves and our families to regroup,” Dr. Needle said. “I call them self-care days.”