Mount Sinai Center for Stress, Resilience, and Personal Growth

The Mount Sinai Center for Stress, Resilience, and Personal Growth takes a multi-disciplinary approach to building resilience and addressing the psychosocial effects of COVID-19 on our health care workers.

At the Mount Sinai Health System, we appreciate the toll fighting COVID-19 is taking on all of our health care workers including but not limited to our doctors, nurses, trainees, students, chaplains, social workers, researchers, and support staff. We know the many strengths that our workers have brought to bear in the fight against the coronavirus and our goal is to support those strengths and foster growth. In parallel, our treatment services address the many ways the pandemic and other stressors have affected our workforce. We understand the trauma and grief of losing patients, the anxiety over potentially exposing family members to the virus, and fears of contracting COVID-19 as a health care worker, and other uncertainties.

As a health system with a medical school, we are well-situated to appreciate the magnitude of COVID-19’s effect on our health care workers. While the full impact of COVID-19 will become more fully known over time, our experience working with traumatic events such as the 9/11/01 terrorist attacks indicates that the emotional toll of the pandemic will be high. Previous studies of disaster responders indicate that they are at elevated risk for developing post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD), depression, alcohol misuse, anxiety, and burnout. We also know that these experiences can bring out strengths and promote personal growth.

The goal of the Center for Stress, Resilience, and Personal Growth is to help our workers recover and even become more resilient, helping to ensure the future of our health care system. The new Center collaborates with and complements other Mount Sinai programs, such as those organized by the Office of Well-Being and Resilience, Talent Development and Learning, Mount Sinai Calm, the Department of Rehabilitation and Human Performance, and the Department of Psychiatry. We focus on outreach, education, and research.

At Mount Sinai, we take care of our own. At the same time, we hope our efforts will serve as a model for institutions and communities around the globe.

The Center for Stress, Resilience and Personal Growth is offering a free and confidential app to all Mount Sinai Health System (MSHS) faculty, staff, students, and trainees. In this app, you can complete surveys about your overall well-being, receive feedback and recommendations instantly, connect to resources, and build your personal resilience. New content will be pushed to the app regularly.
The Wellness Hub was developed internally at Mount Sinai in close collaboration with the Digital Discovery Program at the Hasso Plattner Institute for Digital Health at Mount Sinai.

As an added privacy measure, we do not store or link any identifying information on our secure servers, so there is no way to link identifying information about individual employees to survey scores. For example, we cannot link your email address to any personal data you enter in the app.

Mount Sinai workers can now request a redemption code through Sinai Central by navigating to Employee Self Service and selecting “Wellness Hub”. The app is available for iOS and Android.

Drawing on our extensive expertise in trauma interventions and resilience research, our workshops focus on five evidence-based factors: 1) realistic optimism, 2) facing fears, 3) social support, 4) self-care, and 5) faith, meaning and spirituality. The goal is to ensure that our faculty, students, and staff have the tools they need to both prevent or mitigate the adverse mental health effects of fighting COVID-19 and to build on their strengths. These workshops also enable participants to develop their own resilience plans. Sessions are offered virtually or in person.  MSHS workers may contact our Center to learn more about how to sign up for workshops.

Please enjoy our recent Road to Resilience podcast about the workshop series.

All MSHS workers are welcome to call or email our Center to discuss their well-being and to obtain supports around building their resilience and addressing mental health symptoms. Conversations with our social workers include a confidential assessment of key mental health conditions and personal strengths, along with evaluation of new personal, occupational, and family stressors. Our social workers will help with developing resilience plans and, where necessary, treatment plans.

To address the mental health impact of the pandemic on our workforce, the Center is offering evidence-based treatments for up to 14 sessions to MSHS workers. Members of our workforce have access to the center with no out-of-pocket costs, to the extent possible by law and applicable regulations. All sessions are highly confidential.

Drawing on the resources of the Icahn School of Medicine at Mount Sinai, the Center will collect data, conduct longitudinal analyses, identify psychosocial and biological determinants of risk and resilience, and develop evidence-based interventions and novel treatments. We will offer all Center participants the opportunity to enroll in studies designed to better understand mental health care needs arising from exposure to the COVID-19 pandemic. Researchers will also investigate changes among participants over time to assess the efficacy of the program’s resilience-enhancing interventions. The Center will also collaborate on research studies conducted in other populations affected by COVID-19. The Center is working closely with the Depression and Anxiety Center for Treatment and Discovery (DAC) on research endeavors.