The COVID-19 outbreak is having a significant impact on all of us and has affected the way in which we work and live our lives.
For many doctors and healthcare professionals this may be a time of increased pressure and stress. It is quite normal to experience feelings of distress in the current situation and it is important to recognise that this is not a reflection on your ability to do your job or to cope.
It is important during this time that you take time to prioritise your own mental health and wellbeing, recognising that it is more difficult to provide outstanding care for others when you are not adequately cared for yourself.
Royal College of Physicians and Surgeons of Glasgow. The little book of wellbeing
Royal College of Physicians of Edinburgh. Wellbeing and support for Physicians
World Health Organization. Coping with stress during the 2019-nCoV outbreak
Public Health England. Guidance for the public on the mental health and wellbeing aspects of coronavirus (COVID-19)
NHS Every mind matters. Coronavirus and mental wellbeing
Intensive care society. Wellbeing resource library has lots of self-care resources, some specifically relating to COVID-19
Scottish Quality and Safety Fellowship Programme. Stress, coping and resilience
Royal College of Psychiatrists. Managing stress and burnout. Free online module
Dr Mike Farquhar – Sleep in the time of COVID:Advise for NHS Staff
Mental Health First Aid England. Personal weekly wellbeing check-up
NHS Scotland. Staying Safe & Well: A Self Care Guide for Staff looking after patients with Coronavirus
Canadian Society of Physician Leaders. Ensuring our own wellbeing as we care for others during the COVID-19 crisis
You may find that your colleagues also experience some level of psychological distress (including sadness, stress, worry or anxiety) due to the COVID-19 pandemic. It is important to think carefully about how best you can support them in a way which minimises any negative unintended consequences and is evidence-based.
Psychological First Aid (PFA) is an internationally recognised framework that you might find helpful in supporting others. It involves offering supportive and practical help to others through compassionate listening,
It is NOT,
To support colleagues using basic PFA principles, you should:
COVID Trauma Response Working Group. Guidance for planners of the psychological response to stress experienced by hospital staff associated with COVID
Doncaster and Bassetlaw Teaching Hospital. Going Home checklist. To encourage mindfulness and reflection of yourself and colleagues at the end of the day.
The COVID-19 pandemic may mean that your patients may experience symptoms of psychological distress (including stress, worry and anxiety).
The Psychological First Aid principles described in the Supporting each other section above can also be used to support patients and their relatives/carers.
Mind. Coronavirus and your wellbeing
NHS, Every mind matters. Coronavirus and mental wellbeing
Mental Health Foundation. Looking after your mental health during the Coronavirus outbreak
NHS Education for Scotland. Tips on how to cope if you are worried about Coronavirus and in isolation
NHS Scotland. Psychological Distress and Coronavirus
If you or those around you are in need of more support consider,
© 2021 Academy of Medical Royal Colleges.