Webinar 2: Occupational risk protection of health care workers
Episode 2: Impact of COVID-19 on health care workers, which includes stressful work environment, violence against health care workers (if any), social stigma and government’s psychosocial support, and health care workers’ resilience
The unprecedented magnitude of the pandemic could lead to a long-term global upsurge in mental health problems. Health workers, who are at the center of the fight against the virus, are particularly at risk of negative mental health impact, for several reasons being (not exhaustive):
Exposure to excessive stress, for prolonged periods can have harmful consequences on the emotional and mental well-being of frontline workers, which may eventually cause compromised capacity of the health system and emergency response. In this regard, ensuring the mental health of health workers is critical in sustaining COVID-19 preparedness, response, and resilience. Supervisors, leads, or managers also have a responsibility to protect the mental health of staff through reasonable work arrangements, encouraging appropriate help-seeking behavior, and establishing referral to services where available.
We have seen government across the world taking measures to protect and/or promote the psychosocial well-being and resilience of health works, including providing mental health services, providing additional financial and non-financial incentives to frontline health workforce, putting in place policies to ensure occupational health and safe at workplaces and protection against physical attacks, discrimination and stigmatization towards health workers. Yet challenges still exist and valuable lessons have been identified at operational level. This webinar presents an opportunity to recognize the mental health issues faced by health workers across the three regions, share good practices on lessons learnt, and discuss policy options and actions required to further ensure the mental health and resilience of health workers during the time of COVID-19.
Every crisis also presents opportunities. In the aftermath of the COVID-19 pandemic, we have an opportunity to support our Member States to strengthen their mental health systems and build back better.
Chief Executive Mental Health Service, HMC, National Health Strategy Lead, Mental Health & Wellbeing, Ministry of Public Health
Hamad Medical Corporation
University of Hyogo Reserch Institute of Nursing Care for People and Community