Four Ways Healthcare Leaders Can Protect The Mental Health Of Front-Line Workers — June Collison
Healthcare professionals experience high levels of stress and anxiety given the nature of their job: working long hours, treating patients, sleep deprivation, and so on. During the pandemic, the pressure on them increased and this has exacerbated the existing problem i.e. mental health of healthcare professionals. Although the pandemic has come to an end, several healthcare workers still have a long road toward recovery.
Recently, I read an article published by Forbes titled “Four Ways Healthcare Leaders Can Protect The Mental Health Of Front-Line Workers”. Having been in the healthcare industry for over 30 years, this article was an interesting and insightful read for me. It emphasized on the mental health of healthcare professionals and four ways by which their mental health can be protected.
Below are the four ways by which healthcare leaders can create a healthier working environment that protects the mental health of their front-line workers.
- Educate Employees About Stress Management
Work-place trauma may not always result in a mental health disorder. However, front-line workers still undergo a great amount of stress and need healthy ways to cope with and manage the stress. This could be by organizing workshops and sessions where employees are educated by psychological professionals on stress management. Since it is easy to adopt unhealthy coping mechanisms (e.g. alcohol), education and awareness about healthy coping mechanisms is important.
2. Make Mental Health A Team Effort
Having a supportive culture can help identify and guide those who are struggling. This can be aided by having a “buddy system” where employees are paired and asked to share with the other when they see a change in their behavior.
“it can be difficult for individuals to recognize symptoms of common mental health disorders within themselves”
3. Create a stigma-free environment
Mental health has always been a taboo topic. Many healthcare professionals refuse to receive any professional health due to the stigma associated with it. Some fear that it would mean losing credibility or their license, while others believe they could manage by themselves. Healthcare leaders must fight the stigma in the workplace and create an environment where employees feel comfortable seeking the help needed.
4. Put Resources Within Reach
Many workplaces have recognized the importance of on-site mental health services. Some have adopted this by having “wellness respite rooms’, and others have increased personal days for staff.
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As a seasoned senior healthcare executive with more than 30 years of experience, I am working toward meeting the…