Project ECHO building

Fostering Resilience

Project ECHO Program Will Help Behavioral Health Professionals Nationwide Care for Themselves While Caring for Others

Project ECHO at The University of New Mexico Health Sciences Center is launching a new program to support behavioral health professionals across the country as they help their patients struggling with unprecedented challenges.

It is designed to help anyone providing behavioral health care to gain essential skills for dealing with stress and anxiety and to help develop a sense of resilience and commitment to the critical service they provide.

This tele-mentoring program will create a place for behavioral health professionals to learn about and share the stresses of their experience and to feel supported in their work with clients and patients.

Participants will also learn the warning signs of post-traumatic stress disorder, as well as other mental health issues and how to get help.

Building off the success of ECHO’s resiliency program for New Mexico first responders,  this ECHO will be led by Jeffrey Katzman, MD, professor in UNM’s Department of Psychiatry & Behavioral Sciences.

“Over the course of the COVID-19 pandemic, more and more people have turned to behavioral health professionals to navigate depression, grief and anxiety,” Katzman said. “These caregivers need tools to help them care for themselves so they can better care for their patients in need.”

The course curriculum was developed together with a group of experts from around the nation who will serve as ongoing teachers and facilitators in the program. There will be both formal didactic presentations during Resilience Rounds, as well as introductions to techniques and breakout rooms to practice with others in the Resilience Workgroups.

Behavioral health providers are particularly susceptible to burnout, and thousands of studies across behavioral health occupations show that providers have reported high levels of burnout-related effects.

According to Sanjeev Arora, MD, founder and director of Project ECHO, the new program will address a critical public health issue that is impacting as many as 67% of behavioral health providers – including psychiatrists, social workers, psychiatric nurses, and counselors – who have reported high levels of burnout, including emotional exhaustion, compassion fatigue and depression.


Sanjeev Arora, MD
It’s critical that we help mental health professionals take care of their own mental health so that they can deliver the care their patients need
Sanjeev Arora, MD

“The global pandemic has created challenges for health care professionals that go far beyond the virus,” Arora said. “It’s critical that we help mental health professionals take care of their own mental health so that they can deliver the care their patients need.”

“Project ECHO has proven that our all teach, all learn approach to sharing knowledge can make a significant difference in a short time,” Arora added.

Mental health practitioners can register online for Resilience Rounds and Resilience Workgroups.

The first session is March 28, 2022, from 2 p.m. to 3 p.m. MDT. The sessions will continue every second and fourth Monday. Psychiatrists, psychologists. social workers, therapists and other behavioral and mental health care workers are welcome.

This program is free of cost to participants.

About Project ECHO

Founded in 2003, Project ECHO is a global nonprofit that empowers practitioners and professionals in rural and underserved areas to reduce disparities and improve the well-being of people in the communities where they live. ECHO’s free, virtual mentoring model addresses some of the world’s greatest challenges in health care, education and more, with a mission to touch 1 billion lives by 2025.

This project is supported by award number 1 U3NHP45416-01-00 from the Health Resources and Services Administration, U.S. Department of Health and Human Services-BHWET Division.

Categories: Community Engagement, ECHO, Health, Top Stories