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Coronavirus

Information for health care workers is available on healthservice.hse.ie Coronavirus guidance documents are available on hpsc.ie

Staff: minding your mental health

Coronavirus is a unique and unprecedented situation for healthcare workers. Infectious disease outbreaks like coronavirus can be worrying. Responding to coronavirus can take an emotional toll on healthcare workers and has the potential to impact their mental health. But there are many things you can do to mind your mental health during times like this.

Guidance for staff

Minding your mental health during the coronavirus outbreak

Guidance for health care workers in self-isolation

Guidance for healthcare professionals

Ask for help if you are struggling to cope or concerned about your ability to care for yourself, your family and patients as you did before the outbreak. You can access a number of support services through the Workplace Health and Wellbeing Unit. Workplace Health and Wellbeing Unit:

Free online programmes

Online mental health service SilverCloud Health is giving free access to all HSE staff to four self-directed online programmes.

The mental health programmes available are:

  • Dealing with stress
  • Building resilience
  • Improving your sleep
  • Space from COVID-19

Access the programmes here. Once on the website, complete the sign-up process and enter the access code HSE2020 when prompted to do so.

Phone line to help healthcare workers

A dedicated phone line for all healthcare workers is available. It has been set up to give staff and managers information and advice during the coronavirus outbreak.
Callsave 1850 420 420
Lines are open from Monday to Friday: 8am - 8pm
Saturday and Sunday: 9 am - 5 pm

Guidance for team leaders and managers in healthcare services

Team leaders and managers should:

  • keep staff protected from chronic stress and poor mental health, helping them to have a better capacity to fulfil their roles
  • ensure good team communication and information updates from web sources are provided to staff
  • rotate workers from high-stress to lower-stress functions, where possible
  • partner inexperienced workers with more experienced colleagues. The buddy system helps to provide support, monitor stress and reinforce safety procedures
  • initiate, encourage and monitor work breaks. Where possible, implement flexible schedules for workers who are directly impacted or have a family member impacted by a stressful event
  • advise team members more at risk of serious illness from coronavirus how to protect themselves

Share messages in an easy-to-understand way for staff with additional communication needs. Use forms of communication that do not rely solely on written information. You will find some useful videos to assist with this here.

Guidance on how you can support your staff's mental health is available on HSELand: Supporting your staff's mental health: a programme for HSE managers

The programme will help you to prepare yourself to successfully have a mental health conversation with your staff. This will include clinical and admin scenarios on how to identify signs and symptoms that may indicate a staff member is experiencing mental health issues.

Managers and team leaders - minding your mental health

Managers and team leads are facing similar stressors as their staff, and potentially additional pressure because of the responsibility of your role.

It is important that you also use self-care strategies to reduce your stress during this time. Your team will need you to stay well and staff will benefit from your example.

For more information on staff supports during coronavirus see Workplace Health and Wellbeing Unit

For more information on minding your mental health go to YourMentalHealth.ie

Related Content

Page last reviewed: 16/03/2020
Next review due: 16/03/2023