Press Release

ICSI Launches Mental Health Playbook for Healthcare Workforce

New Playbook provides key steps for assessment, planning and implementation of organization-wide mental health support strategies

Bloomington, Minn. – June 17 , 2020 – Representatives from ICSI announced that the first edition of a new Mental Health Playbook is now available. The Playbook was created to provide planning and implementation strategies to support the current and long-term mental and emotional wellbeing of the healthcare workforce.

“The Mental Health Playbook is a living document that will continue to evolve and adapt as we navigate our way through and hopefully past the current pandemic into a new normal,” said Jodie Dvorkin, MD, Associate Medical Director for ICSI. “While the first edition is focused primarily on our current COVID-19 crisis, future iterations will address the expected increase in the mental health needs of our healthcare workers in the future.”

The need for a Mental Health Playbook has been highlighted during a series of ongoing calls organized by ICSI to share promising practices among healthcare leaders, many of whom are facing increased stress and unique new stressors since the onset of the pandemic. The Playbook provides a way for healthcare organizations to assess the overall mental health of their  workforce, create a strong strategy to meet those needs and implement the plan in a fast yet effective manner. ICSI’s new Playbook outlines both universal stressors, and unique stressors affecting specific roles within organizations, from support services, to leadership, to those on the frontlines treating COVID-19 patients.

“The strategy behind the Mental Health Playbook is based on implementation science and adapted to reflect what we’ve learned since the pandemic began,” said Tani Hemmila, Director for ICSI. “The Playbook outlines three Pillars of Implementation for providing mental health support: Crisis Command, Bi-Directional Communication and Take Action. Users of the Playbook can further define each Pillar based on a series of workbook-style questions.” Hemmila added that specific examples of what ICSI refers to as “Promising Practices” from healthcare organizations are also included in the Playbook.

The Mental Health Playbook has its origins in an ongoing bi-weekly webinar open to healthcare leaders across the United States. These collaborative discussions were initiated to address the growing concern over the mental health and wellbeing of the healthcare workforce facing the challenges of COVID-19. During these webinars, healthcare leaders in the community share existing and emerging practices being used to support staff mental health. More information about upcoming Mental Health Support sessions can be found here.

“We’ve done a better job in recent years confronting issues like physician burnout, and caretaker fatigue,” said Claire Neely, MD, ICSI President & CEO, “COVID-19 has accelerated the need for mental health solutions, and we need to be ready to support our healthcare workers on the front lines from an emotional standpoint, not just a physical one. I’m proud of our work with the Playbook, and I look forward to seeing it evolve and expand as needs change.”

To download the current version of ICSI’s Mental Health Playbook, visit here.


About ICSI: A trusted influencer in healthcare for over 25 years, ICSI convenes organizations to find solutions to healthcare’s toughest challenges. As ICSI, healthcare leaders work together to find ways to initiate positive change and improve health outcomes. ICSI is activated by an independent, objective non-profit organization with one clear goal – improving health together. For more information visit