Research suggests six key factors to protect the mental health of healthcare workers.
The recent pandemic has impacted us all in different ways. The impact to those working in healthcare, working long hours, in stressful situations and being exposed to the virus could lead to mental health issues such as PTSD, depression and anxiety. A recent study, however, suggests that there are six key elements to supporting the mental health of healthcare workers.
- Healthcare workers should be thanked for their work. Including acknowledgement of the possible psychological impact of their work.
- Absenteeism should be followed up to rule out mental health as a cause for not being at work.
- Return to work interviews should be offered to support the transition from crisis mode back into day-to-day work as the pandemic calms down.
- Particular attention should be paid to high risk groups such as those from a BAME background or junior staff who have had to learn and adapt to high responsibility roles in a short amount of time.
- Monitoring should be offered to those who have experienced particularly traumatic events. (PTSD and other mental health issues can manifest months, even years after the event itself so ongoing support and monitoring is crucial).
- Staff should be encouraged to talk about the emotional impact of the pandemic and their experience with their managers to include social factors outside of work that could be impacting their mental health.
To access the full study, click here.
These factors were highlighted specifically for healthcare workers impacted by the pandemic, however, we think that these steps could be useful for anyone who is making the transition back into work and into the ‘new normal’. Many of us have had to change the way we work and may have faced similar moral or ethical decisions during the lock down: whether to see friends and family, whether to go back into the office or not. For those who are fortunate to be going back to work, or for those managing staff returning to the office, the steps above could be helpful to support the transition from pandemic into ‘new normal’.
If you are currently struggling with your mental health, call our helpline to book up to five free sessions with one of our practitioners for tips and advice to support your mental health. Find out more or call 020 3855 4578 to book your session.