Tuesday, 07 April 2020
A free online resource has been launched to help those working in healthcare cope with the stress of dealing with Covid-19 and help maintain their psychological wellbeing during and after the pandemic.
The e-learning package has been put together by a health psychologist from the University of Nottingham in collaboration with the University of Leicester. It is for any healthcare staff and students. It covers the possible impacts of the pandemic on mental health and practical measures that can be taken to combat these and maintain psychological well-being.
Chartered health psychologist Dr Holly Blake led the development of the resource, she said: “It’s clear that healthcare workers are facing a challenging situation. Although they are used to working with some level of stress, extreme measures to boost the NHS workforce means that many staff will need to work in new or unfamiliar roles, and will experience increased demands and more pressure, in these unpredictable circumstances.
This will take its toll on healthcare staff, and there may be longer-term impacts to wellbeing. There is a huge array of information and guidance out there but this could be daunting for anyone looking for support. We have brought together information about psychological wellbeing for healthcare workers, including tips from experts in the medical and academic sphere and essential signposting to help staff cope with the current situation.”
Creating psychologically safe workplaces
The online package includes advice for team leaders to create psychologically safe workplaces where staff feel comfortable raising issues and concerns. It covers communication, the importance of language and avoiding social stigma, and advocates accessing support from colleagues, friends and family.
The resource also provides guidance on supporting mental health in others through Psychological First Aid. Most important is the focus on self-care during these challenging times. The package includes guidance on rest and work breaks, shift-work, sleep and fatigue. It addresses specific impacts of the pandemic, such as making morally challenging decisions around providing for patients with limited resources, and balancing the needs of patients with the needs of self. There is guidance around dealing with grief, and managing emotions such as fear, anxiety and low mood.
It’s normal to experience difficult emotions in these situations. Making decisions in demanding environments can be hard, and staff may experience feelings of guilt when they are unable to provide care in the way they would like. This is a common emotion for healthcare workers who need to self-isolate
This resource includes tips and advice from experts in mental wellbeing as well as those with direct experiences from the frontline.
The package can be accessed at https://www.nottingham.ac.uk/toolkits/play_22794
We’ve designed this resource to be easy to navigate so users find the relevant information quickly and we hope it will be useful to help support those working in healthcare who may be facing some extremely stressful situations in the coming weeks and months.
More information is available from Dr Holly Blake on Holly.firstname.lastname@example.org or Jane Icke, Media Relations Manager for the Faculty of Science at the University of Nottingham, on +44 (0)115 951 5751 or email@example.com
Notes to editors:
About the University of Nottingham
Ranked 32 in Europe and 16th in the UK by the QS World University Rankings: Europe 2024, the University of Nottingham is a founding member of the Russell Group of research-intensive universities. Studying at the University of Nottingham is a life-changing experience, and we pride ourselves on unlocking the potential of our students. We have a pioneering spirit, expressed in the vision of our founder Sir Jesse Boot, which has seen us lead the way in establishing campuses in China and Malaysia - part of a globally connected network of education, research and industrial engagement.
Nottingham was crowned Sports University of the Year by The Times and Sunday Times Good University Guide 2024 – the third time it has been given the honour since 2018 – and by the Daily Mail University Guide 2024.
The university is among the best universities in the UK for the strength of our research, positioned seventh for research power in the UK according to REF 2021. The birthplace of discoveries such as MRI and ibuprofen, our innovations transform lives and tackle global problems such as sustainable food supplies, ending modern slavery, developing greener transport, and reducing reliance on fossil fuels.
The university is a major employer and industry partner - locally and globally - and our graduates are the second most targeted by the UK's top employers, according to The Graduate Market in 2022 report by High Fliers Research.
We lead the Universities for Nottingham initiative, in partnership with Nottingham Trent University, a pioneering collaboration between the city’s two world-class institutions to improve levels of prosperity, opportunity, sustainability, health and wellbeing for residents in the city and region we are proud to call home.