(1) Background: This study examined the prevalence and correlates of factors associated with self-reported mental health service use in a longitudinal cohort of frontline health care workers (FHCWs) providing care to patients with COVID-19 throughout 2020. (2) Methods: The study comprised a two-wave survey (n = 780) administered in April–May 2020 (T1) and November 2020–January 2021 (T2) to faculty, staff, and trainees in a large urban medical center. Factors associated with initiation, cessation, or continuation of mental health care over time were examined. (3) Results: A total of 19.1% of FHCWs endorsed currently utilizing mental health services, with 11.4% continuing, 4.2% initiating, and 3.5% ceasing services between T1 and T2. Predisposing and need-related factors, most notably a history of a mental health diagnosis and distress related to systemic racism, predicted service initiation and continuation. Among FHCWs with a prior mental health history, those with greater perceived resilience were less likely to initiate treatment at T2. Descriptive data highlighted the importance of services around basic and safety needs (e.g., reliable access to personal protective equipment) relative to mental health support in the acute phase of the pandemic. (4) Conclusions: Results may be helpful in identifying FHCWs who may benefit from mental health services.

Original languageEnglish
Article number5326
JournalInternational Journal of Environmental Research and Public Health
Issue number7
StatePublished - Apr 2023


  • COVID-19
  • barriers to care
  • health care workers
  • health services
  • mental health
  • psychological symptoms
  • systemic racism
  • treatment utilization


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