Connecting Audiologists and Speech-Language Pathologists With Mental Health Resources

If you are experiencing an emergency, or you know someone who is, call 911 immediately.

A mental health crisis and widespread loneliness are undeniable concerns in our contemporary society. In fact, the World Health Organization in November 2023, declared loneliness a “pressing health threat” on a global scale.

An array of stressors has an impact on our personal and professional lives. Excessive stress may disproportionately affect certain racial and ethnic groups, exacerbating health disparities.

We also recognize that burnout is a public health issue, and professionals in education and health care are experiencing it, especially since the COVID-19 pandemic began. The U.S. Surgeon General has named health worker burnout and mental health and well-being in the workplace as priorities that need to be addressed systemically.

We want to help audiologists and speech-language pathologists (SLPs) by connecting you with a range of mental health resources.

Mental Health Infographic

Warning Signs

  • Bodily Sensations and Physical Effects: Rapid heart rate, muscle tension, headaches, gastrointestinal distress, nausea, inability to relax, trouble sleeping, nightmares, high adrenaline
  • Strong Negative Feelings: Difficulty maintaining emotional balance, irritability, deep sadness, fear, anger, frustration
  • Problematic or Risky Behaviors: Unnecessary risk-taking, refusal to follow directives, increased use or misuse of prescription drugs or alcohol
  • Social Conflicts: Reduced ability to support others, conflicts with clients, peers, and family, withdrawal and isolation, blaming others, hostility, argumentativeness
  • Difficulty Thinking Clearly: Difficulty problem-solving and making decisions, disorientation and confusion, misinterpretation of situations and comments, memory issues

The handout about strengthening resilience [PDF] shows warning signs and ways to deal with stress.

Concerns and Resources

Feeling Overwhelmed

You may feel overpowered by your thoughts, emotions, and intense feelings. On a daily basis, you are managing multiple roles and relationships. You are continuingly juggling personal and professional responsibilities. Guidance to help navigate decision-making may be varied, diverse, and occasionally conflicting. Balancing home and work life, screen fatigue, information overload, and compassion fatigue may all be contributing to exhaustion and feeling overwhelmed. Here are some resources to help with anxiety, response to trauma, caregiving, and workplace mental health.

Financial Stress

Financial hardships can lead to mental health challenges (e.g., anxiety, depression, panic, substance use, worry). Financial stress has disproportionate effects on well-being depending on socioeconomic and educational status.

You may have lost your job, have fewer clients, or may have totally shifted the way you provide services. You may have incurred costs to make changes in private clinics. Here are a few articles to help with financial planning and well-being:

Historical Trauma

Historical trauma is multi-generational trauma experienced by a specific cultural, racial, or ethnic group. Historical trauma can result in distress and there are ways to strengthen resilience.

You and those you serve may have experienced, or continue to experience, historical trauma and/or racial battle fatigue.You should be mindful of the intersection and impact of these experiences to gain understanding of present-day reactions to events in the context of individual trauma narratives, to provide trauma-informed care, and to identify appropriate support.

Loneliness and Isolation

A lack of social connections can lead to feelings of loneliness and isolation (see Dr. Vivek Murthy’s 2020 book, Together: The Healing Power of Connection in a Sometimes Lonely World).

The U.S. Surgeon General’s current priorities address loneliness and the critical importance of social connection.

As communication professionals, we know well the value and need for social connections for our mental health and well-being. Technology can help when in-person options aren’t available, but sometimes Zoom meetings create more fatigue than connection.

Loss and Grief

Grief is a natural reaction to loss. Grief reactions may continue and may include disbelief, anxiety, distress, depression, anger, sorrow, and changes in sleep and eating patterns.

Audiologists and SLPs may experience personal and professional losses. Although a natural reaction to loss, grief may continue to be exacerbated by the multiple losses and uncertainty.

Moral Distress/Ethical Dilemmas/Worker Burnout

Changes in the landscape of work during the pandemic, often urgent and immediate, led to some ethical challenges and moral distress (or moral injury) when beliefs and values about professional practices that were compromised. Self-criticism, shame, and guilt may be signs of moral distress.These feelings may continue to linger long after the public health crisis has diminished.

You may have confronted moral distress at work. Maybe it was triggered by the need to provide care that fell short of “best practice;” being directed to perform procedures with little training; or being told to provide services only to certain patients. You attempted to navigate these ethical dilemmas at the same time when little to no time or space existed. Perhaps you are experiencing worker burnout now. The U.S. Surgeon General indicates that these five essential supports strengthen workplace mental health and well-being: protection from harm, connection and community, work-life harmony, mattering at work, and opportunity for growth.

Here are resources to help you with ethical issues, moral distress, and worker burnout to enhance your well-being on the job:

Coping Strategies


For audiologists and SLPs to carry out their ethical obligation to take care of their patients/clients/students—specifically “to hold paramount the welfare of persons they serve professionally”—under Principle I of the ASHA Code of Ethics, they must take care of themselves.

  • Monitor warning signs of extreme stress and seek help from a mental health specialist when needed.
  • Be aware of and take care of our own physical and mental health needs to help others. This is especially important when you are experiencing personal or professional loss, grief, or uncertainty.
  • Have self-compassion and reduce negative self-talk.
  • Limit comparisons and judgements about your own and co-worker's workload and coping mechanisms. Avoid comparative suffering.
  • Use available resources related to mental health and well-being to manage stress, cope with grief and loss, and strengthen resilience.

Activate Your Parasympathetic Nervous System to Manage Stress

The Parasympathetic Nervous System is a technical way of thinking about the “brakes” of the body. Also known as the rest and digest nervous system, the parasympathetic nervous system helps the body conserve energy and protect itself. Like the brakes of a car, if the parasympathetic nervous system is working all the time to slow down a racing mind and body it will get worn down. Our bodies are often faced with external stressors that may be unavoidable. Luckily, there are ways we can help our body activate our “brakes” to stay healthier, happier, and better prepared to combat stress and disease.

There are many ways you can help activate your parasympathetic nervous system, such as: spending time in nature, reading, journaling, mindfulness, movement, art, music, and having a meditation, prayer, or gratitude practice.

The resources below can help strengthen your own parasympathetic nervous system and deepen your understanding of the stress response.

Activate Your Relaxation Response


Participating in activities and movement opportunities that you enjoy can relieve anxiety and stress by increasing your endorphins, allowing your mind and body a break from stressors, and improving your mood. Consider these tips as you plan a joyful movement routine.


Nourish Yourself

Social Support

Social support is strongly linked with increased health and wellbeing. You may find that you desire social support in different forms ranging from emotional, informational, tangible, or a sense of belonging. Learn about How Social Support Contributes to Psychological Health

Service to others through your work and in other ways brings meaning and purpose to your life.

Participate in professional communities, such as ASHA’s Special Interest Groups, multicultural constituency groups, state associations, and other interactive online communities.

Additional Resources

  • Take action and ask Congress to help protect assistants, audiologists, and SLPs from workplace violence. Support the Workplace Violence Prevention for Health Care and Social Service Workers Act (H.R 2663/S. 1176).

Seeking Help

If you are experiencing an emergency, or you know someone who is, call 911.

Immediate Help

Call or text one of these hotlines for immediate help:

  • The Trevor Project provides crisis intervention and suicide prevention services to LGBTQIA+ youth.

Ongoing Help

To find a behavioral health provider in your area call/visit one of these resources:

  • If your employer uses an Employee Assistance Program (EAP), the EAP can also provide references for behavioral health providers in your area.

Find a culturally responsive behavioral health provider:


These resources are shared for information purposes only and do not constitute mental health advice. The lists are not exhaustive, and inclusion does not imply endorsement by ASHA. We welcome your feedback and suggestions for additional resources.

For more information or comments, contact Diane Paul at

ASHA Corporate Partners