Providing Mental Healthcare to Healthcare Workers
We saw a lot of ups and downs in the healthcare industry last year. A deadly Virus outbreak took millions of lives in one go. Also, it wasn’t good for healthcare workers, Increases rate of infection, high death rates, lack of specified medicines, social media fake news and all other thing made healthcare workers anxious. They fell in a continuous loop of mental illness because of long shifts and high work pressure.
The constant increase in infected cases, a rise in the rate of deaths, lack of any specific medicine or vaccine, extensive media coverage, massive workload, lack of personal protective equipment, and feelings of inadequate support all contributed to the increased mental burden on staff.
In the initial phase of the SARS-CoV-2 outbreak, 29% of all hospitalized patients were HCWs. Healthcare workers were the flag bearers in the toughest times of our country. On the other hand, like other individuals, they are exposed to a considerable amount of fake news and rumours all of which increase their anxiety levels.
The damage was so severe that it has not been repaired yet. Depression and anxiety are now the most common psychiatric disorders having a prevalence of 10 to 20 per cent in the general population. Also, results from a survey done on 130 most stressful jobs say the nursing comes on rank 27 due to mental health problems. Another study says, over 7.4 per cent of nurses take a day off per week just because of physical illness due to stress.
Healthcare workers utilize most of their time in hospitals, clinics or healthcare centres. Thus, it becomes a necessity to make the environment enjoyable and friendly. A tidy workplace, some small plants, nature paintings play a major role in enhancing the environment.
To make the environment engaging, hospitals should follow the idea of being simple as possible. They should understand the situation of both patients and doctors in the hospitals. Healthcare workers are unhappy and need to be encouraged to not take mental pressure while patients should be taught about their speedy recovery. You can think of a midway that can help to remove stress and don’t look like a taunt on sad people.
Most people get hit by mental diseases due to less awareness. Mental Health for Healthcare workers also has the same story. Most of the HCWs aren’t aware of what mental health is and how physical health affects it. In times of serving best to humanity, they often forget to care about themselves.
Hospitals can take help with the department related to psychology and mental health to organise awareness camps. These camps spread awareness and help health care workers to deal with the situation.
Even if you and your organization don’t have time for meetings, arrange and meet workers at least for 10-20 minutes. In the times of emails and texts, meetings, (even the online ones) are very important. Group meetings help workers to know and understand each other. A few things healthcare workers can do are:
- Talk to colleagues, employees and bosses about the stress you are facing.
- Share thoughts on how things changed during the pandemic.
- Identify things that affect mental health and create anxiety.
- Identify and practice methods used to decrease stress
Helpline like mental health helpline and mental hospital helpline numbers should be available on a priority basis for health care servants. They should be treated promptly as per their needs to prevent them from suffering from a negative life.
The information regarding other supports such as help lines has to be made available.
Address the problem
Problems happening to healthcare workers should be taken seriously and solved on a priority basis. We have seen a lot of cases when people don’t get proper priority while working in the healthcare sector which ends up as major bad problems.
Now, when you know what the problem is, you can move further to solve it. Healthcare workers mental health can be improved by following these processes precisely. Also, these practices can help in retaliating future problems as well.