Magellan Healthcare
Provider Focus Newsletter
News & information for Magellan network providers


Provider burnout is real, and self-care still matters

Plus, 7 tips to support your own wellbeing

You started out becoming a behavioral health provider because helping people is your thing. But helping people can be exhausting, especially faced with the challenges we’ve experienced over the last four years.

Even though you may practice self-care, strive to maintain a positive work-life balance, and seek professional or peer support, you may still feel burned out.

And you are not alone.

Respondents in the American Psychological Association’s 2023 Practitioner Pulse Survey indicated that while they are making time for self-care, 36% of psychologists still feel burned out.

The report attributes provider burnout to several reasons, including:

  • Working at limits of capacity
  • Seeing increased severity in patient symptoms
  • Needing to maintain longer treatment courses due to patient symptoms worsening over time
  • Treating a more diverse range of patients with respect to racial and ethnic backgrounds, ages, sexual and gender identities, and health conditions or disabilities

PF_Winter 24_walkingdog

Magellan acknowledges that provider burnout is real. Recently, we sat down with Deanna Phillips, M.Ed., LPC, CEAP and Magellan employee who, in addition to supporting our critical incident response program, manages a small counseling practice. As a provider, she shared some ways that she’s found to take better care of herself. While practicing self-care may not be an end-all, be-all solution, Deanna offers some great ideas to support your own wellbeing.

7 ways to support your own wellbeing

  • It’s hard to say no because you want to help as many people as you can. Yet setting boundaries can help prevent undue psychological stress and burnout. How many clients can you see per week without it being too much? How many of those will be in-person sessions versus virtual sessions? Do you need to leave some open slots in your schedule to make room for returning clients? Remember you can update your availability and other practice information (including specialties!) in Magellan’s provider directory.
  • If you can’t accept new clients/patients, do you have connections with other providers in your area who are in-network with Magellan to whom you could refer the member? If not, let our members know they can contact Magellan at their program number for help getting a referral. Having referral resources can help you overcome the feeling of guilt you may experience when you can’t take on more new clients.
  • Don’t feel guilty taking time for yourself. You can only help others if you’re helping yourself first. Remember the flight attendant’s instruction about donning your oxygen mask first before you help others near you? The same principle applies in so many other areas of life, including the provision of behavioral health services!
  • Balance the emotional need of helping others with doing things you enjoy that don’t demand you to emotionally engage. This could be a hobby, spending time with friends or family, or volunteering in your community or place of worship.
  • Are you taking your own advice for self-care? Because we are all human, we may find ourselves advocating for self-care practices in the lives of others, but not in our own lives. Here are some self-care tips you might have suggested to your clients at various times (PDF). Why not try implementing a few and see how it goes?
  • You find yourself taking on more and more, but you feel like you can handle it. That’s great! But how can you reward yourself for your accomplishments? Maybe it is as simple as hiring a cleaning service every couple of weeks. Just knowing that the housework will still get done could alleviate so much stress!
  • Perhaps you’ve been practicing self-care, but you’re still struggling. There’s no shame in getting some peer or professional help yourself.

Have you found something that helps in your practice of self-care? We’d love to hear from you at 

2021 MarCom Gold Award Winner 2020 MarCom Gold Award Winner
2019 MarCom Gold Award Winner 2018 MarCom Gold Award Winner

About Provider Focus

Welcome to Provider Focus, our award-winning e-newsletter for network providers! Here you’ll find articles and information to keep you up-to-date on news and topics relevant to serving Magellan members, including a section for regional- and plan-specific news. Check back as a new issue is released each quarter.

Previous Issues