With healthcare workers on the frontlines of the Covid-19 battle, their mental health is more important than ever before. Unfortunately, the stress of the pandemic is having wide-ranging and potentially long-term behavioral health issues that do not always have easy solutions. One way to reduce the impact of these concerns, though, is for leaders to help their team become more resilient through communication and education.
Even after Covid becomes just a memory, your care team may struggle with trauma and mental health issues due to the pressure and challenges they faced protecting their community and saving lives. Creating a resilient organization is possible, though, with the right policies and plans for the future.
But what is resilience? It is toughness and the capacity people have to recover from difficulties and adversity. When addressed correctly by strong leadership, resilience can be built into a care team through support and education, empowering them to move forward.
Here are a few ways to help your facility build resiliency and improve your frontline heroes’ overall mental health.
One of the best ways to understand how your team is feeling is to monitor and evaluate internally. Pulse surveys allow you to quickly assess your healthcare team’s mental health and identify any potential challenges they may be facing due to their pandemic experiences. After you identify your care team’s unique set of challenges, leadership can then uniquely tailor the services offered at your healthcare facility.
Value Your Team
After you identify main themes negatively affecting your team, mental health awareness education is vital. The goal is to educate your staff that mental health is a fundamental part of your overall health and should be treated with the same compassion and importance as any other health problem. Ideally, this educational training will equip your team to identify mental health risks at the early stages, so they are ready to seek or provide help before the psychological state worsens.
Increased counseling services and work flexibility can enhance personal resilience, which will positively affect your whole care team. Encouraging your staff to take mental health breaks when needed and being mindful of provider burnout will give your team an added sense of security and show them that they are valued. Valuing your team is a fundamental piece of building a resilient team.
Teamwork Builds Resiliency
To decrease stress and burnout, provide your care team members with an abundance of support from you; their leadership team. Your team of physicians, nurses, and other frontline healthcare workers are always focused on caring for patients and sometimes forget to care for themselves. With teamwork, communication, and collaboration, the burden on each person is lightened.
The bottom line is that a strong leader asks for support and is mindful of their mental health, paving the way for their team. According to our Chief Medical Officer, Dr. O’Neil Pyke, “The way we support our team is a strong indicator of how our team will overcome obstacles, both now and in the future.” When protecting a healthcare team and teaching them coping strategies, it’s vital to make sure that the team has the resilience it needs to get things done and move forward in the workplace and in their personal lives. With strong leadership, that resilience will be built in for a more prosperous future.