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Recognizing Mental Health Providers

We celebrate Mental Health Awareness Month in May, and on May 12, we specifically recognize mental health providers. As I sat down to write this blog post, I found myself reflecting on the question of who exactly a mental health provider is. Certainly, there is a legal definition of provider in the Colorado Revised Statutes; however, when I think more broadly about a provider as a person who gives someone something they need, I believe our provider group should include every member of our Colorado Access family. We all serve our members and each other in different yet equally important ways. I may be able to prescribe an antidepressant, or one of my clinical colleagues at AccessCare Services may engage a member in motivational interviewing. But every answered phone call, Nectar shoutout, or smile at a community engagement event fosters a sense of social connection that improves health.

Being a provider isn’t always easy. Working in health care, we often support people during some of the most difficult moments of their lives. Provider burnout has become a particular challenge in health care post-pandemic, leading to what some call “the great resignation,” which further exacerbates what we all know to be a mental health provider shortage. Preventing and reducing provider burnout best happens at both individual and institutional levels.

Here at Colorado Access, caring for each other is embedded into our culture of compassion. I see our company efforts to mitigate burnout in such things as a moratorium on meetings during the lunch hour and our executive team leading by example as they encourage us to use our PTO. We also have a new internal course that covers topics like mindfulness, body support, and soulful renewal. So, on May 12, as we acknowledge mental health providers, take a moment to recognize your contribution, check in on your emotional and physical well-being, and celebrate by doing something that feeds your soul. You are appreciated!