Last reviewed on 18 January 2021
Every day, doctors, nurses, paramedics, physiotherapists, cleaners, porters and thousands of other healthcare professionals across the UK are working tirelessly on the frontline of the coronavirus (COVID-19) outbreak. At this time, it is more vital than ever that you look after yourself, allow yourself to recognise the emotional challenges of your work and ask for support when you need it.
This video, created by doctors, psychologists and researchers at the NHS Traumatic Stress Clinic in London, the UCL Institute of Mental Health and the COVID Trauma Response Working Group, examines some of the main concerns you might have.
The NHS is providing a free, confidential staff support line. Call 0800 06 96 222 (7am - 11pm, seven days a week) or text FRONTLINE to 85258 for 24/7 support via text message. Find out more on the Our NHS People website.
A series of NHS-led webinars focused on supporting the emotional health and wellbeing of health and care workers during the COVID-19 pandemic has also been developed. Visit the Thrive LDN website to access the Keeping Well for Health and Care Workers webinars.
As London’s digital mental wellbeing service, Good Thinking has put together the information below to help you manage any concerns you might have about your mental health during the coronavirus outbreak.
We have also gathered some useful resources to help you support your colleagues at this time.
As a healthcare professional, you have the knowledge and skills to limit the spread of infection but you might still worry about getting ill if you come into contact with patients with coronavirus.
You might find the following information about infection prevention, PPE and testing useful:
To help manage your anxiety:
As you come under sustained pressure dealing with coronavirus, it’s important that you find ways to manage your stress levels and help your colleagues to do the same. Try to provide a listening ear and remind each other that you’ll get through this together.
After a busy shift, you might find it difficult to switch off and unwind but it’s vital that you get enough sleep.
Whether you have 40 years of experience or you’re new to the profession, looking after a patient who is seriously ill or dying is very difficult. Take a moment to acknowledge how you feel and remember, there is no right or wrong way to feel. You might find that you experience a range of emotions, including sadness, shock, anger, numbness and even guilt, and move between these feelings at different times.
It’s vital that anyone with symptoms of coronavirus, including healthcare professionals, self-isolates in accordance with the official advice. Being at home might be challenging but there are some things you can do to help protect your mental wellbeing.
You might be worried about your family’s health, your children’s education and your household finances at this time. If you’re living apart from your family, you might also be concerned about the effect this separation is having on them.
Unfortunately, some of you might experience a negative reaction by members of your community due to stigma or fear. The NHS has a zero tolerance policy towards abusive behaviour.
Try to get your information from your employer and the NHS and Government websites only and limit how many times a day you check the news and social media.
Other useful websites and helplines
Allied health professionals
Wider healthcare team