Pandemic Kindness Movement
The extraordinary demands on health workers in managing the COVID-19 pandemic are unprecedented; this section of the pyramid addresses the clear need for the safety of health workers.
COVID-19 challenges the notion of safety at work and many health workers are concerned about the risk of infection and passing that risk onto loved ones. Feeling safe is a fundamental need for everyone, once our basic needs are met. Health workers who feel safe and secure are better able to provide care for others.
Safety needs include physical and psychological elements, and these often interlink. For example, how we work in a safe and error free manner as well as being safe from violence, during our commute to work, and having a safe working environment including preventing infection transmission.
Once safety needs are adequately fulfilled, the next level of needs are social and involve feeling connection and compassion, love and belonging.
Leading through COVID19 – Responding to stress experienced by hospital staff working with Covid-19
Drawing on research, best practice guidelines and expert clinical opinions, the COVID Trauma Response Working Group has created rapid guidance for planners putting in place psychological support for staff in the early stages of dealing with the Covid-19 outbreak.
A 30-second clip offering practical tips on physical distancing in the workplace.
This short clip from the World Health Organisation is a reminder of the stress put on healthcare workers and the risks involved when there is a shortage of staff and resources. It promotes organizational investment in staff safety in order to achieve optimal patient safety.
Coping with change: coming to terms with the 'new normal'
This information sheet from the Australian Psychological Society offers some strategies to help you cope with change, deal with uncertainty and help to boost personal resilience during COVID-19.
Coping when not everyone will ‘do the right thing’
This information sheet from the Australian Psychological Society offers strategies to help you manage your negative reactions and responses to stories of people who are not following health guidance and rules to prevent the spread of COVID-19.
Loneliness and social isolation
This information sheet from the Australian Psychological Society outlines useful strategies to use to cope with feelings of loneliness, isolation and anxiety.
Managing lockdown fatigue
This information sheet from the Australian Psychological Society describes lockdown fatigue, some of its causes, signs and symptoms, and ideas to help you manage it. Hint: lockdown fatigue can be experienced by people in regions where there are very few cases of COVID-19 and where long-term restrictions such as border closures have had a significant impact on freedoms.
Nurse and Midwife Support
Nurse and Midwife Support is for all nurses and midwives, nursing and midwifery students, employers, educators and concerned family and friends. The service promotes better health for nurses, midwives and students, and safer care for the public. Nurses and midwives can receive confidential advice and referral to other support services for a braod range of health issues.
Difficult experiences when working in tough times: an Australian guide
This guide, developed by Karen Gaunson and colleagues, provides a reference to understand the signs, symptoms and way forward to support peers and colleagues when faced with burnout, compassion fatigue and trauma. It offers insights into ways to approach and frame critical conversations.
Victorian Nurse and Midwifery Health Program
The Nursing and Midwifery Health Program Victoria provides an independent support service for nurses, midwives and students. This toolkit has been designed to support health and wellbeing, and provide provide nurses and midwives with self-care strategies and resources.
Victorian & Tasmanian Doctors Health Program
The Victorian Doctors Health Program and Tasmanian Doctors Health Program provides a free, confidential and compassionate health support service for all Victorian and Tasmanian doctors and medical students. The phone service is available 24 hours and also offers telemedicine calls during office hours. The service is a first point of call for those needing support for stress and burnout, referrals to and from AHPRA, addictions, return to work and advocacy.
Phone (03) 9280 8712 (VIC) or 1800 991 997 (TAS)
RANZCP Victorian psychiatrist appointments for frontline healthcare workers affected by COVID-19
The health and wellbeing of frontline workers is of paramount importance. Healthcare workers in Victoria who may be feeling overwhelmed or would like to check your mental health, you can access free or discounted services from a cohort of psychiatrists who have come together to support you. The program is also seeking psychiatrists to join this free program.
AMA Victoria Peer Support Service
The AMA Victoria Peer Support Service provides doctors with a listening colleague who understands the pressures of medicine.
Phone 1300 853 338 (VIC)
Many of us have suffered trauma in our lives. The principles of trauma-informed care should inform the work of all health workers. Likewise, we need to ensure that we minimise retraumatising staff during the pandemic and beyond. This table shows what trauma-informed kindness could look like as we go about our work.
JMO Support Line
All junior medical staff working in NSW Health facilities can access this phone line to receive specialised, free and confidential support services. Support is provided by Senior Medical Officers working in hospitals around the state who understand your situation.
Phone 1300 JMO 321 or 1300 566 321 (NSW)
Prepare yourself mentally for PPE
This script is intended to help you improve your ability to safely don and doff personal protective equipment by using mental practice. Mental practice involves rehearsing the steps of an action in your mind without physical movement and has been successfully used by high performers in many fields.
Protect yourself and others after your shift
This visual checklist for health workers will help reduce the risk of transmitting infectious organisms. It reminds you to clean yourself, your garments, equipment and personal belongings prior to leaving work.
Minding health care workers
This is an Australian guide developed by Margie Stutchberry and colleagues. It helps with understanding how emotional responses may change throughout the phases of the pandemic. It introduces concepts such as burn out, moral distress, isolation and connectedness.
COVID-19 anxiety workbook
Learning how to recognise and reduce anxiety is an extremely helpful life skill. This document was published by The Wellness Society and supported by Jamma International. Part One provide an introduction to tools for dealing with anxiety. Part Two outlines a Stress Resilience Action Plan for preventing and reducing autostress.
The psychological impact of quarantine
This journal article describes the psychologial impact of quarantine. It is useful in understanding pateints, colleagues and self, if quarantine is required.
Head 2 Health
Head to Health is an Australian government funded website which provides resources to the general public and mental health professionals – including those specific to COVID-19. It is a helpful and comprehensive website with an extensive list of apps, forums, programs, chat/email discussions, other websites, and information pages.
The Pandemic Kindness Movement webpages are created by clinicians across Australia and hosted by the NSW Agency for Clinical Innovation (ACI). Provision of these links and resources does not imply endorsement nor recommendation from the ACI or NSW Health.