2021 PH WINS Survey Findings Released, Finds Rising Burnout and Stress Among Public Health Workforce

Two years of pandemic response activities have contributed to increased stress, burnout, and post-traumatic stress symptoms among the country’s public health workforce, according to the 2021 Public Health Workforce Interests and Needs Survey (PH WINS). The survey, conducted by the de Beaumont Foundation and the Association of State and Territorial Health Officials (ASTHO), also found that public health workers remain committed to their jobs and communities.

PH WINS was conducted between September 2021 and January 2022 among nearly 45,000 staff in state and local governmental public health departments. Key findings of the latest survey include:

  • More than half of public health employees report symptoms of post-traumatic stress disorder, and one in five indicate their mental health is either fair or poor
  • Many public health workers, especially executives, report experiencing bullying, threats, and harassment
  • More than one in three public health employees indicate they are considering leaving their organization

Despite these challenges, public health workers largely report satisfaction with their job, as well as fulfillment in their profession.

PH WINS is the only nationally representative survey of state and local governmental public health employees. The survey, conducted in 2014, 2017, and 2021, collects information on engagement and satisfaction, demographics, intent to leave, training needs, and public health’s most pressing issues. Additional data and analyses, including a methodological report, will be released this summer.

Additional information is available here.