An actionable guide to support our healthcare workers
The first edition of our new Supporting the Mental Health of Healthcare Workers Playbook is now available. The Playbook was created to provide planning and implementation strategies to support the current and long-term mental and emotional wellbeing of healthcare workforces. It is intended to be a “living” document that will continue to evolve and adapt as we navigate our way through and hopefully past the current pandemic into a new normal. Future iterations will address the expected increase in the mental health needs of our healthcare workers to come.
The Playbook provides a way for healthcare organizations to assess the overall mental health of their workforce, create a strong strategy to meet those needs and implement the plan in a fast yet effective manner. The Playbook outlines both universal stressors, and unique stressors affecting specific roles within organizations, from support services, to leadership, to those on the frontlines treating COVID-19 patients.
The Supporting the Mental Health of Healthcare Workers Playbook outlines three Pillars of Implementation for providing mental health support:
- Crisis Command: Determine clear decision-making authority and coordinate simultaneous responses across multidisciplinary groups
- Bi-Directional Communication: Acknowledge the stress, actively listen to staff, and transparently share decisions and plans with staff
- Take Action: Identify population stressors and assets, determine interventions by offering system-driven support and self-directed support, and Evaluate quickly and often
Users of the Playbook can further define each Pillar based on a series of workbook-style questions. It also includes specific examples of what ICSI refers to as “Promising Practices” from healthcare organizations are also included in the Playbook.
The Supporting the Mental Health of Healthcare Workers Playbook has its origins in an ongoing bi-weekly webinar open to healthcare leaders across the United States. These collaborative discussions were initiated to address the growing concern over the mental health and wellbeing of the healthcare workforce facing the challenges of COVID-19. During these webinars, healthcare leaders in the community share existing and emerging practices being used to support staff mental health.