COVID-19 as a Collective and Individual Trauma

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Event Description

COVID-19 changed how people access healthcare, how people receive healthcare, and how healthcare professionals deliver care. Regardless of your professional role during COVID-19 or your personal feelings about COVID, the pandemic has been a collective trauma in our history and the residue on health professionals is real. While trauma is often experienced individually, a collective experience has both protective and risk elements which will be articulated in this presentation. Placing your personal experience over the past couple of years in a larger perspective can facilitate a deeper understanding of both our own and others’ reactions, as well as discover effective strategies to heal and even grow from the events of the past couple of years. 

Learning Objectives

1. Understand the experience of trauma, vicarious trauma, and secondary 

stress as it relates to being a healthcare provider during the pandemic 

2. Apply the principles of trauma exposure to understand the personal impact 

on one’s mind, emotions, behaviors, and the body 

3. Learn and practice self-regulation techniques to mitigate activation in the body. 


Christine Runyan, PhD, ABPP 


Christine Runyan is a clinical health psychologist, the Co-Founder of Tend Health, and 

Professor in the Department of Family Medicine and Community Health at the University 

of Massachusetts Medical School. After starting her career as a psychologist in the US Air 

Force, she focused her research, clinical service, and teaching on behavioral science in 

family medicine as well as promoting models of integrated primary care. Dr. Runyan is also 

a mindfulness teacher at the University of Massachusetts Center for Mindfulness. At the 

height of the pandemic, recognizing the undeniable need for expert mental health services 

for healthcare professionals, she launched Tend Health. Tend Health provides specialized, 

private, and accessible mental health care and education to healthcare professionals and 

consultation to healthcare organizations willing to invest in their most precious resources.

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