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Leaving the stigma to the patients? Frequency of crisis experiences among mental health professionals in Berlin and Brandenburg and how they cope with it.

Authors
  • von Peter, Sebastian1
  • Stuetzle, Stefan1
  • Brieger, Anna1
  • Ponew, Angel1
  • Lust, Christian1
  • Bermpohl, Felix2
  • Bechdolf, Andreas3, 4
  • Hardt, Olaf5
  • Schomerus, Georg6
  • Speerforck, Sven6
  • 1 Medical University Brandenburg Theodor Fontane, Neuruppin, Germany. , (Germany)
  • 2 Department of Psychiatry and Psychotherapy, Psychiatric University Clinic at St. Hedwig Hospital, Berlin, Germany. , (Germany)
  • 3 Department of Psychiatry, Psychotherapy and Psychosomatic Medicine with Early Intervention and Recognition Center (FRITZ), Vivantes Klinikum Am Urban, Berlin, Germany. , (Germany)
  • 4 Department of Psychiatry, Psychotherapy and Psychosomatic Medicine, Vivantes Klinikum im Friedrichshain, Berlin, Germany. , (Germany)
  • 5 Department of Psychiatry, Psychotherapy and Psychosomatic Medicine, Vivantes Klinikum Neukölln, Berlin, Germany. , (Germany)
  • 6 Department of Psychiatry and Psychotherapy, University of Leipzig Medical Center, Leipzig, Germany. , (Germany)
Type
Published Article
Journal
Journal of mental health (Abingdon, England)
Publication Date
Feb 01, 2024
Volume
33
Issue
1
Pages
66–74
Identifiers
DOI: 10.1080/09638237.2023.2182415
PMID: 36880330
Source
Medline
Keywords
Language
English
License
Unknown

Abstract

Although mental health professionals' mental health problems are gaining increased attention, there is little systematic research on this topic. This study investigated the frequency of crisis experiences among mental health professionals and examined how they approach these experiences in terms of their personal and social identities. An online survey was conducted among mental health professionals in 18 psychiatric hospital departments in the German federal states of Berlin and Brandenburg (N = 215), containing questions about personal crisis experiences, help sought, service use, meaningfulness of lived experiences, causal beliefs of mental illness and psychotherapeutic orientation. Social identification was assessed via semantic differential scales derived from preliminary interview studies. To investigate relationships between the variables, explorative correlation analyses were calculated. Results showed a high frequency rate of crisis experiences, substantial rates of suicidal ideation and incapacity to work and high service use. Most participants regarded their experiences as meaningful for their personal identity. Meaningfulness was positively related to a psychosocial causation model of mental illness, to psychodynamic psychotherapeutic orientation and to a high degree of disidentification with users and crisis experienced colleagues. The (paradoxical) disintegration of personal and social identity of may be understood as a strategy to avoid stigmatization. A more challenging coping style among professionals is discussed.

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