Experiences of Health Care Providers with Patients Experiencing Mental Health and Addiction Issues during the COVID-19 Pandemic: A Narrative Inquiry


  • Kristy Tang
  • Hua Li


Background: Amidst the COVID-19 pandemic, the healthcare system was impacted tremendously, posing a novel challenge for healthcare providers (HCPs). Despite the risks of exposure and potential transmission to their families, HCPs persevered in providing exceptional care to patients, which can take a toll on their mental well-being. Among these dedicated professionals, those working in Mental Health and Addiction (MHA) services played, a critical role in supporting patients with MHA during this crisis, yet they were also vulnerable to pandemic-related psychological complications. The purpose of this study was to explore the experiences of HCPs who worked with MHA patients during the pandemic. Methods:  Six HCPs working in MHA services participated in this study. The data were collected via individual interviews over Webex, employing a semi-structured format with varying durations between 45 and 60 minutes. Thematic analysis was applied to analyze data. Results: The findings illustrate five major themes: (a) perception of safety; (b) re-inventing the delivery method; (c) negative emotions; (d) coping strategies; and (e) managerial behaviours (supportive and unsupportive). Conclusions: This qualitative study illuminates the experiences of MHA HCPs amid the COVID-19 pandemic. To maintain the mental health and well-being of HCPs during any global health crisis like the COVID-19 pandemic, preventive programs and interventions are crucial.