top of page



Shireen Sakizadeh McConnell

MN Mental Health Advocates


New Program Aims to Support Minnesota Healthcare Workers During COVID-19 Pandemic

MN Mental Health Advocates works to provide a safety net of resources and support for healthcare workers experiencing signs and symptoms of secondary trauma and compassion fatigue.


Saint Paul, Minn., April 10, 2020 – MN Mental Health Advocates, a nonprofit dedicated to mental health advocacy and education, has announced a new program focused on providing mental health support for healthcare workers. The program was created in response to the COVID-19 pandemic and is specific to mental health needs healthcare workers are anticipated to experience during and after the pandemic.

The program, free of cost to clients, offers advocacy, education, and assistance in navigating mental health resources for healthcare workers.

Minnesota healthcare workers are caring for an unprecedented number of critically ill patients, with limited or no access to personal protective equipment (PPE), ventilators, and medications, Because of this, they are at high risk for vicarious or secondary trauma.

Secondary trauma can result in response to providing care to individuals enduring a traumatic experience. Healthcare workers have always been at risk for experiencing secondary trauma, but the current pandemic compounds the opportunity for this to occur. Many hospital staff around the United States are reporting that they feel abandoned by the systems charged with keeping them safe. They are risking their lives to care for patients, but have inadequate supplies to care for them. And still, they show up every day to fight for the lives of those sick with this virus.

“We worry that left untreated, healthcare workers suffering from secondary trauma are at high risk of substance abuse and suicide,” said Shireen Sakizadeh McConnell, founder and Executive Director of MN Mental Health Advocates. “We want to be a safety net for this population and ensure that they have the proper tools to support their mental health.”

Healthcare workers can access this new program offered by MN Mental Health Advocates by visiting their website to receive assistance in navigating Employee Assistance Programs, trauma informed care, therapists experienced in providing care to healthcare professionals, and peer support networks.

About MN Mental Health Advocates

Accessing mental health services can feel overwhelming - even for someone who isn't currently going through a difficult situation. Mental illness often paralyzes and limits one's ability to effectively advocate for one's self. Founded in March of 2019, MN Mental Health Advocates works to provide a safety net for individuals needing access to mental health resources. Our novel approach ensures that Minnesotans get access to these services with good outcomes. We work with businesses, organizations, and individuals across the state to educate Minnesotans about mental illness and help them navigate the healthcare system. For more information visit

bottom of page