Journal issue on health of frontline workers during pandemic showcases work of York faculty

COVID pandemic facemask

An issue of the Journal of Concurrent Disorders that explores the health of frontline workers during the COVID-19 pandemic highlights the work of seven York University faculty members.

An image of Nazilla Khanlou
Nazilla Khanlou

Released April 9, the issue titled “Health of Frontline Workers during the COVID-19 Pandemic” was guest edited by Nazilla Khanlou, associate professor in the Faculty of Health and the Office of Women’s Health Research Chair in Mental Health. Khanlou also authored an editorial piece for the issue, titled “Frontline Health Care Workers’ Mental Health and Wellbeing: Need for An Upstream Whole Community Approach.”

In her piece, she talks about health policy and human services actions that can be taken, at the macro level, the meso level and the micro level, to support frontline healthcare workers.

“Health policy and human services actions can be taken in line with this perspective,” reads an excerpt from the piece. “At the macro-level equity-informed policies to support frontline health care workers’ safety, human resources pay concomitant with pandemic risk, comprehensive benefits, and a public mental health system are needed. At the meso-level, positive practice settings that offer flexible work schedules for frontline workers (such as those who at home are parenting or caring for family members), and peer-informed solutions to critical pandemic related workplace decision-making are examples. At the micro-level, recognition of the mental health stressors of the ongoing pandemic in relation to workload and safety, protection of employee privacy, and trauma-informed approaches to mental health services are needed.”

Contributions to the peer-reviewed journal issue were from both Canadian and international researchers, and represented different disciplines.

Other contributions from York University faculty in the journal are:

  • Canadian Clinicians Adopting Virtual Health Care during COVID-19 Pandemic: Salute to Our Fast Learners – Farah Ahmad, associate professor, Faculty of Health
  • Social Distancing and Client Engagement: The Challenges of COVID-19 For Frontline Workers – Negar Alamdar, research assistant, Faculty of Health
  • Experience of Working at a “COVID Facility” – Irfan Aslam, assistant professor, Faculty of Health
  • Covid-19 and the New Normal of Mental Health Challenges for Nurses at the Frontline – Lillie Lum, professor, Faculty of Health
  • COVID-19 and Healthcare Workers’ Struggles in Long Term Care Homes – Iffath Unissa Syed, Farah Ahmad, Faculty of Health
  • The Experience of COVID-19 Among Advanced Practice Nurses Caring for Patients and the Public – Suzanne Tinglin, clinical course director, Faculty of Health

For more, and to read the journal, visit