Mental Health Month: Tools to Thrive

Since 1949, May has been designated as Mental Health Month in order to promote awareness and increase dialogue surrounding mental health. This month every year, mental health organizations across the country team up to reach out to people through the media, special events, and mental health screenings.

Mental illness, including anxiety and depression, is more common than you may realize. According to the American Psychiatric Association, mental health conditions affect approximately one in five adults in the U.S. Temporary crises such as the COVID-19 pandemic can trigger situational depression and new feelings of anxiety among otherwise stable individuals.

At Covelo Group, we are aware that those working in hospital careers are currently under an increased level of stress. Clinical staff such as doctors, nurses, and respiratory therapists are not the only hospital workers under pressure. Hospital employees such as janitors, sterile processing techs, and medical back-office employees are also essential workers committed to protecting their communities.

Tools to Thrive

With this in mind, it’s important for hospital workers to take steps to promote their own mental health. Mental Health America offers an online toolbox containing “Tools to Thrive” to support mental health. A few highlights include resources focused on finding the positive in difficult circumstances, establishing healthy routines, and finding ways to connect with others. By logging in to the MHA website, you can download the digital toolbox to access these materials.

The American Medical Association has also published a list of self-care recommendations and resources for healthcare workers. Importantly, the AMA recommends healthcare facilities regularly monitor staff members’ well-being, offer employees access to psychosocial support, and rotate workers from higher-stress to lower-stress functions when possible.

Some people find meditation to be a helpful way to support mental health. Finding time during a busy week to block out distractions can be a healthy way to regain a sense of calm, manage stress and control anxiety. Headspace, a meditation app, is currently offering free membership to healthcare professionals through the end of 2020.

Another important aspect of self-care is getting enough to eat throughout the day. A hectic hospital shift can make it difficult to step away long enough to eat a good meal. That’s why many restaurants and delivery services are offering discounts and waiving delivery fees for people with hospital careers. Good Housekeeping compiled this list of restaurant and delivery deals offered during the pandemic.

Family Resources

When one member of the family is experiencing stress, the rest of the family feels it too. That’s why the Center for the Studies of Traumatic Stress (CSTS) has shared strategies to help families of healthcare workers cope with new pressures caused by COVID-19. From family separations to concerns about the spread of infection, the virus is placing tremendous burdens on families.

The CSTS suggests that every family member learn to feel a sense of pride for their personal contribution during this outbreak. Essential workers’ children and spouses make great sacrifices to protect the community, and they should receive due credit. Remember to keep lines of communication open during periods of separation, whether caused by long work hours, or temporary housing arrangements. Be sure to accept help from friends, extended family members, and neighbors. Above all, remember that this crisis is only temporary. While it is certainly challenging, it is not permanent. A little perspective can go a long way.

Mental Health Hotline

Recognizing the added pressure COVID-19 is placing on people with hospital careers, Magellan Health has set up a free, 24-hour crisis hotline for first responders and healthcare workers. Critical workers who call the hotline will speak directly with a licensed mental health clinician.

Have questions about your clinical or non-clinical hospital career? Reach out to us at recruiting@covelogroup.com or 415-421-4900. And, remember to take care. 

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