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Experts and campaigns worldwide offer mental health support for healthcare workers.
The COVID-19 pandemic is having a major toll on people's wellbeing worldwide. In a recent American Psychiatric Association poll, more than one-third of Americans said that the coronavirus was having a serious impact on their mental health, and most (59 percent) said it was having a serious impact on their day to day lives.
Healthcare workers are particularly affected. A cross-sectional study of 1257 healthcare workers in 34 hospitals equipped with fever clinics or wards for patients with COVID-19 in China showed that a "considerable" proportion of healthcare workers reported symptoms of depression, anxiety, insomnia, and distress. This was especially true of women, nurses, those in Wuhan, and frontline health care workers directly engaged in diagnosing, treating, or providing nursing care to patients with suspected or confirmed COVID-19.
Doctors and nurses revealed to TIME recently that they'd harboured dark feelings owing to fears of speading the disease to families, frustration about a lack of adequate protective gear, exhaustion and deep sadness for dying patients.
Advice for managers in health faciitiies
BMJ article: Managing mental health challenges faced by healthcare workers during covid-19 pandemic
An Analysis article in the BMJ on Managing mental health challenges faced by healthcare workers during covid-19 pandemic warned that healthcare staff are at increased risk of moral injury and mental health problems when dealing with challenges of the COVID-19 pandemic.
The authors, led by Neil Greenberg, Professor of Defence Mental Health at King's College London, offered measures that healthcare managers need to put in place to protect the mental health of healthcare staff having to make morally challenging decisions. They include the following:
Video message from NHS Traumatic Stress Clinic in London, the UCL Institute of Mnetal Health and the COVID Trauma Response Working Group
The following video message was shared by doctors, psychologists and researchers at the NHS Traumatic Stress Clinic in London, the UCL Institute of Mental Health and the COVID Trauma Response Working Group to healthcare workers worldwide affected by the coronavirus COVID19 pandemic:
WHO mental health considerations
Recognising that feeling stressed is an experience that many health workers are likely going through, the World Health Organisation (WHO) Department of Mental Health and Substance Use has developed a series of mental health considerations that can be used in communications to support mental and psychosocial wellbeing.
Their messages for team leaders or managers in health facilities are as follows:
Wolters Kluwer podcast on COVID-19 and anxiety
In a 23 minute AudioDigest podcast from Wolters Kluwer, Martin Hsia, Psy.D., Licensed Psychologist, PSY22978, Clinical Director, Cognitive Behavior Therapy Center of Southern California, addresses a wide range of subjects on coping with COVID-19 and anxiety.
They include how clinicians can help patients deal with the mental health aspects of this pandemic, how clinicians themselves can monitor and support their own mental health, how to help ease elevated stress levels of patients suffering from anxiety and OCD and more:
Wellbeing tips from Mental Health Foundation of New Zealand
In New Zealand, the Mental Health Foundation offers wellbeing tips for both managers and healthcare staff working through the pandemic that include:
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