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U.S. Department of Health and Human Services

Managing the Human Side of Reopening Your Behavioral Health Facility or Practice during the COVID-19 Pandemic

Frequently Asked Questions

If you are reopening your behavioral health practice, you are probably thinking about practical considerations, but have you considered how you will address the “human side” of reopening? The “human side” or psychological and emotional elements of reopening are also critical. It’s normal to feel anxious right now, and in fact, the Census Bureau’s weekly Household Pulse Survey has consistently found that 1/3 of Americans report symptoms of anxiety or depression (April 23-June 9). Whether they remain isolated in their homes or work on the front lines, many individuals have experienced sustained levels of added stress because of COVID-19 (COVID).

You, your staff, and your clients may still be trying to find effective ways to cope with the chronic stress associated with the COVID pandemic. The coronavirus continues to circulate, social norms surrounding face masks and proper interpersonal distance have changed overnight, and reopenings may be paused or reversed based on local spikes in COVID cases. Indeed, having a plan for what to do if there is a spike in COVID infections in your community is an essential part of reopening. While there are no easy solutions to these problems, but the following pages offer practical suggestions and links to useful resources.

Leading during the COVID Pandemic

Managing Interpersonal Dynamics

Addressing Staff and Client Fear, Grief, Anxiety and Loneliness

  • This page last reviewed: July 22, 2020