Schedule a Visit

Nulla vehicula fermentum nulla, a lobortis nisl vestibulum vel. Phasellus eget velit at.

Call us:
1-800-123-4567

Send an email:
monica.wayne@example.com

1 month ago · · 0 comments

Helping frontline workers cope with stress during COVID-19: actions for team leads

Going to work during the COVID-19 pandemic has placed front-line workers under immense and unprecedented pressures, putting their physical, mental and social well-being at risk. Staff under excessive or prolonged stress become more prone to frequent absence from work or reduced productivity while at work, accidents and mistakes. In the COVID-19 pandemic, this may mean compromised quality and safety of care, breach of protocols and guidelines, increased risk of infections, and compromised capacity of the health system and emergency response teams to fight the pandemic.

While front-line workers have the responsibility of caring for themselves and verbalising their needs and concerns, many of the efforts to prevent and reduce stress and care for mental health of front-line workers must be made by organisations, managers and health administrators.

Five steps to a mentally healthy workplace

Step 1: Show your commitment

– Declare that mental health is a priority to your organisation, starting from the very top.

Step 2: Assess the situation

– Start by assessing the work stressors and mental health needs in the workplace.

Step 3: Make an action plan

– Translate your assessment into a reasonable and practical action plan with set targets and clear indicators to measure progress.

Step 4: Implement and evaluate

– Put your plan to action with clear milestones and targets.

Step 5: Learn and mainstream

– Use regular evaluations to make the needed adjustments. Mainstream your mental health action plan into a clear written policy.

Actions team leads can take to help front-line workers cope with stress during COVID-19

Prepare them for the job

– They must have a clear understanding of their own roles and responsibilities.

– Adequate training must be provided on occupational health and safety topics (e.g. use of Personal Protective Equipment and Infection Protection and Control measures as well as technical training needed to perform their duties (e.g. the latest guidelines and procedures for assessing, triaging and treating patients).

Help them care for themselves

– Provide them with information on stress, how to maintain a healthy lifestyle, and when to seek further support.

– Equip them with tools and techniques for self-care and stress management and encourage workers to practice these healthy coping strategies regularly.

Protect them on the job

– Provide front-line workers with sufficient Personal Protective Equipment and Infection Protection and Control supplies to protect themselves from infection.

– Protect them from incidents of harassment and violence, including physical as well as legal protection.

– Protect and uphold their rights.

Create a healthy work environment

– Tackle the sources of stress by ensuring appropriate work hours and workload, sufficient breaks between shifts, and that tasks are well-matched to skills and experience-level.

– Consider rotating staff between high-stress and low-stress tasks to distribute pressures.

– Give workers access to the tools they need to deliver safe and high-quality care or services.

– Use regular written communications and team meetings to check-in with workers and keep them up to date with the latest technical tools and guidelines or other pertinent information.

– Use these meetings to also foster team cohesion, and allow front-line workers to voice their concerns or needs, or participate in decision-making in a meaningful way.

Be a good role model

– Adhere to health and safety guidelines.

– Practice healthy coping strategies by taking work breaks, demonstrating healthy habits (diet, hydration, physical activity) and avoiding the use of tobacco, alcohol or other substances.

– Set the tone by caring for yourself. Maintain a healthy work-life balance and practice the stress-management and relaxation techniques that are recommended.

Encourage peer support

– Create a formal or informal platform where peers can share knowledge and provide basic psycho-social support through peer networks, under the supervision of mental health and psycho-social support professionals.

– Establish a buddy-system that allows pairing of inexperienced front-line workers with their more experienced workers, thus providing professional support.

Be perceptive and supportive

– Familiarise yourself with the signs and symptoms of stress and burnout, and practice active listening and supportive communication when you approach the front-line workers you are concerned about.

– Pay extra attention to front-line workers who have pre-existing physical or mental health conditions or disabilities, who are facing challenges in their personal lives and those who lack social support.

Give feedback and recognition

– Give front-line workers constructive feedback on their work, highlighting their good performance and opportunities to improve.

– Show appreciation for hard work, and give public recognition to teams and individuals for their service. Small gestures and rewards can go a long way in boosting confidence and staff morale.

Make services available

– Make sure further mental health and psycho-social support services are available for front-line workers who need them, and that they are aware that they can access services confidentially.

– Front-line workers need to also have access to mental health care facilities in case of crisis situations, and psychotropic medications need to be made available to them if they are needed.

Note: This article was shared by World Health Organisation (WHO). Original link is attached below.

http://www.emro.who.int/mnh/news/helping-frontline-workers-cope-with-stress-during-covid-19-a-resource-for-team-leads.html

1 month ago · · 0 comments

Frontline workers and COVID-19: coping with stress

Going to work during this COVID-19 pandemic has placed front-line workers under immense and unprecedented pressure, putting their physical, mental and social well-being at risk. Exposure to excessive stress, for prolonged periods can have many harmful consequences on the emotional and mental well-being of front-line workers. It can:

  • Lead to burnout.
  • Trigger the onset of common mental disorders such as depression and anxiety or Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD).
  • Result in unhealthy behaviours like using tobacco, alcohol or other substances, which may lead to substance use disorders.
  • Result in frequent absence from work or reduced productivity while at work.
  • Increase the risk of suicide among front-line workers, particularly healthcare workers.

In the context of COVID-19, this may mean compromised quality and safety of care, breach of protocols and guidelines, increased risk of infections, and compromised capacity of the health system and emergency response teams. While many of the efforts to reduce stress and care for front-line workers must be made by organisations, managers and health administrators, front-line workers can also take actions to cope with stress.

Actions front-line workers can take to cope with stress during COVID-19

Put things in perspective

– Take stock of which things are within your control, and which challenges you have no control over.

– Spend some time each day recounting a few of the things you have accomplished.

Stay informed

– Seek information from reliable sources such as WHO and your local health authority on topics such as case identification, Infection Prevention and Control (IPC) or any topic relevant to your role in the response.

– Consider taking an online course from a trusted provider, and keep these tools accessible in the field.

Avoid information overload

– Try to limit your exposure to media coverage as much as possible, including through social media.

– Avoid sources of unverified medical information and try to avoid the spread of myths and rumours.

Stay connected

– Reach out to friends and family members via text or video chat, and join meals or social activities virtually.

– Exchange support with trusted colleagues at work, as many may be having similar experiences.

– Consider creating a formal or informal platform where you and your colleagues can share knowledge and discuss some ethical dilemmas you are facing.

Maintain a healthy lifestyle

– Maintain a healthy diet, stay well-hydrated, and try to get at least a few minutes of exercise a day.

– Rest during any downtime at work and get enough sleep between shifts.

– Avoid unhealthy coping behaviours such as using tobacco, alcohol or other substances.

Take better care of yourself

– Make time to do simple actions that bring joy, comfort and boost self-esteem on a regular basis.

– Practice techniques like breathing exercises, progressive muscle relaxation, grounding and mindfulness.

Know your limits

– If you feel too overwhelmed and unable to cope, consider what actions you can take to relieve some of your burdens at work or at home and discuss these with your supervisor or family members.

– It is also essential to monitor yourself for symptoms and immediately report exposure incidents or if you suspect that you may be infected.

Advocate for yourself

– Familiarise yourself with your rights to advocate for yourself. For example, clarify your rights for compensation and treatment in case of infection or legal protection from harassment and violence.

– Communicate openly with your supervisor and ask for the support you need, such as work adjustments (e.g. flexible schedule, rotation to less stressful tasks), more protective equipment or further training.

– Consider appointing an advocate like a trusted senior colleague instead of raising concerns individually.

Adhere to your treatment

– If you are receiving treatment for a mental health condition, stick to your medications, and communicate with your mental healthcare provider about making adjustments to your regimen if needed.

– Where face-to-face psychological support is difficult, search for virtual alternatives.

Seek professional help

– Seek help from a health professional if your feelings of distress persist and it becomes difficult to cope with your daily activities at work or at home. This could be your doctor or a psychiatrist or therapist.

– Consider utilising some local resources that have been developed for the COVID-19 response such as psychological support hotlines and remote counselling services.

Note: This article was shared by World Health Organisation (WHO). The original link is attached below.

http://www.emro.who.int/mnh/news/frontline-workers-and-covid-19-coping-with-stress.html

Counselling services at Samutthana

Schedule an appointment.

Contact: +94112502529 / info@samutthana.org.lk