CHARLOTTESVILLE, Va. (CBS19 NEWS) -- According to the CDC, 46% of healthcare workers reported feeling burnt out in 2022, up from only 32% pre-COVID. 

The Dr. Lorna Breen Heroes Foundation is working alongside the over 7,000 hospitals in the country and CDC to provide for more accessible mental health services as well as ensuring healthcare workers are not penalized by seeking help.

“There is a crisis that needs to be addressed to support the mental health and wellbeing of our healthcare workers,” said J. Corey Feist, brother-in-law of Breen and CEO of The Dr. Lorna Breen Heroes Foundation. 

Feist says since COVID the rates of harassment of healthcare workers have doubled, burnout is still on the rise, and the intent of leaving the field is growing exponentially. 

“During COVID, 100,000 nurses in this country left the profession,” Feist said. 

And it is only expected to get worse. 

“The nursing industry anticipates another 900,000 nurses leaving the industry in the next ten years,” Feist said.

Breen died by suicide back in April 2020 and Feist says one of her biggest concerns came even before her days as an ER doctor. 

"What she was worried most about were questions that appeared on her licensing application, her hospital employment application, which all ask overly broad questions on her mental health history,” Feist said. 

Her concern led them to start their joint campaign with the CDC, Impact Wellbeing, with a mission to ensure healthcare workers won't be penalized for these questions. 

“One of the things included with this Impact Wellbeing campaign with the CDC are tools for the hospital systems to take a look at the question they are asking and make sure they are not violating the Americans with Disabilities Act,” Feist said.  

And they are making an impact by just last year changing the law here in Virginia. 

“No longer is a day in Virginia where they will be asked a question on their licensing exam about their prior mental healthcare. We know that that alone will save lives,” Feist said.