The Role of Harassment in the Mental Well-being of Local Public Health Professionals and Its Relationship With an Intent to Leave Their Organization During the COVID-19 Pandemic

Document Type

Journal Article

Publication Date



Journal of public health management and practice : JPHMP




Since the onset of the COVID-19 pandemic, news and nationwide survey efforts have reported harassment and bullying among local health officials, departments, and personnel, concurrent to a shortage of public health staff in the United States. We examined a nationally representative sample of local public health professionals (LPHPs) from the 2021 Public Health Workforce Interests and Needs Survey (PH WINS) data set to explore reported experiences with harassment, threats, and bullying; self-rated mental and emotional well-being; and intent to leave an organization. Results indicated that experience of harassment was negatively associated with ratings of mental and emotional health and positively associated with an intent to leave an organization. We discuss implications and recommendations to mitigate these risks for the nation's local public health workforce.


Clinical Research and Leadership