Mental Health Support for the Healthcare Workforce
Join providers and other health leaders coming together from across the country to share ways to proactively support the mental and emotional health of our healthcare workforce during the COVID-19 crisis. Hundreds of people from 11 states and 2 countries have participated.
As healthcare and mental health leaders share implementation strategies and practices in real time, ICSI collects and curates them to build a shared knowledge network and playbook.
The Mental Health Playbook walks you through key steps to assess, plan and implement an organization-wide strategy that supports the current and long-term mental and emotional health of your workforce.
Clinician Well-being programs during COVID-19, including new bereavement policy
Dr. Dyrbye presented on the high rate of clinician burnout prior to COVID-19, and that this time of crisis presents a need and opportunity for innovation to take a systems approach to support people:
Early on in COVID-19 they pushed out general resources, thinking only of frontline providers caring for COVID-19 patients. This was not the best strategy.
Thus, they have targeted different interventions to different groups. Building some new options and also building out further from existing ones, like scaling up a peer support group in the case of adverse events.
They also developed a Bereavement Response Plan in the event of an employee death, and for use beyond COVID-19.
NOTE from Mental Health Minnesota: COVID Cares support phone line now has a toll-free number: 833-HERE4MN. The line offers free, confidential, anonymous support for healthcare workers, essential personnel and others. Staffed by volunteer mental health professionals, open 9AM to 9PM, seven days / week.
Call Report: Tuesday, July 14, 2020
Dr. Albert Wu, Johns Hopkins University:
RISE Peer Support Program
Using Johns Hopkins’ integrated program RISE – Resilience in Stressful Events – Peer Support Program as an example, Albert Wu, MD, MPH described steps healthcare institutions can take to support healthcare workers. The presentation describes:
Leadership strategies specific to crises
A variety of programs to serve all staff; e.g., the RISE program is now getting numerous calls from janitorial, food service, laundry, and other staff who haven’t typically sought emotional support through RISE
RISE peer support rose to over 2,000 calls/sessions in 100 days over the peak of COVID; more than they served since RISE started in 2011.
Presenter: Dr. Wu leads the PhD program in health services research, the Masters of Applied Science in Patient Safety & Healthcare Quality, and the Certificate program in Quality, Patient Safety and Outcomes Research in the Johns Hopkins Bloomberg School of Public Health. He maintains a clinical practice in general internal medicine.
Resiliency Rooms – a highly utilized program/space for healthcare workers
This presentation reviewed best practices around resiliency rooms – how to get buy-in from leadership, how to set them up, and how to maintain them. The call highlighted the resiliency rooms that have been created at Children’s MN. These resiliency rooms are located at both hospital campuses and since COVID-19 started, the resiliency rooms have had 10,521 visits to date. In addition, S.E.L.F care plans were introduced as a useful tool to write down triggers and coping strategies, and the Going Home Checklist is another tool intended to help ALL staff reflect and re-center before changing gears for life at home. Overall, the presentation confirmed why Children’s MN peer support program has been such an important resource during COVID.
Cally Qutechat, On-Site Health and Well-Being Program Manager at HealthPartners
Kerry Appleton, Clinical Education Specialist at Children’s MN
Very much a work in process for all, presenters shared specific implementation tips and challenges, including ways they have worked to increase uptake by expanding the scope to not be COVID specific, increasing/changing hours, and/or by expanding eligibility to other groups of people. Uptake has been slow for most, although has risen recently for some following the death of George Floyd. There was discussion about potential barriers when confidentiality seems not assured, and about whether we will see increased need over time, as per analysis from Washington state. See resources below.
Jackie Buboltz, Mission Integration Director, West Market, Essentia Health
Brent Walden, PhD, Chief of Psychology, Hennepin Healthcare
John Drussell, LICSW, MSW, Mayo Clinic
Shannah Mulvihill, MA, CFRE, Executive Director, Mental Health Minnesota and Linda Vukelich, Executive Director, Minnesota Psychiatric Society, on COVID Cares line
Leaders from University of Minnesota and MHealth Fairview presented the Minnesota Resilience Action Plan (MinnRAP): Providing Peer and Emotional Support to Frontline Workers. MinnRAP uses a buddy system, a model used by US Army (Battle Buddy) for peer mentoring and support. Having a Buddy helps to:
In light of current events in our community and the nation, the topic of racism and its effect on health was greatly discussed and the group acknowledged the disproportionate impact of COVID deaths on people of color. The group also started out the discussion with how stress impacts brain and ways to manage it individually and collectively.
Ryan Pope of Carris Health Redwood presented on Using Feedback to Build Support. Their employee-wide surveys and interview info informed their programming; on-demand resources have been well-utilized and strategic communications have been critical as people have felt overloaded with information. Info on Collective Coping shared with staff has also been useful.
Dawn Mansergh of HealthPartners presented on Team Debriefing, A Tool for Leaders. Using Psychological First Aid, Critical Incident Stress Debriefing requests have doubled compared to the same period last year.
Valerie Longfellow & Michael White of HealthPartners presented on their new Grocery 2 Go program at Regions, implemented to help reduce stress and save time for their staff. Low-stock items like toilet paper and boxes of fresh fruits and veggies are especially popular. CentraCare Health has implemented a similar program.
Jen Boulton of Vail Place, a community mental health program, presented on their work and the myriad ways they are staying connected in their new virtual world. Staff are reporting feeling more connected than before.
Gina Dixon of Essentia Health Grief Support Services shared an overview of their services. A peer support program for staff established to provide emotional first aid to help manage stress during crisis has been particularly effective.
Shannah Mulvihill of Mental Health Minnesota presented on their peer support services, including a warmline widely available to the community, and how they are supporting their certified peer support specialists during this time. Warmline use has increased significantly in the last two months, and there is increased need to address social isolation.
Jodie Dvorkin of ICSI shared advice from health leaders in New York and others on how to support staff during the COVID-19 crisis. Bi-directional communication – asking staff what they need and getting feedback what works, is critical.
Linda Vukelich of Minnesota Psychiatric Society updated on the COVID Cares mental health helpline for frontline health care workers. Please post the COVID Cares flyer / share broadly with your employees as a resource.
On Tuesday, April 14 we dove into ways to determine interventions for specific populations within the workforce.Thank you to Jeff Leichter of Sanford and Lisa Bershok of CentraCare for sharing their work.