Health & Wellbeing

Mental Health Supports

Supports available to public:  for information on different mental health issues, including what to look out for and what you can do to help yourself, or someone you care about

Freephone 1800 111 888 – you can call this to find out what mental health services are available to you in your own area

Irish Hospice Foundation National Freephone Service 1800 80 70 77 which is available from 10am to 1pm, Monday to Friday. Any adult who has been impacted by bereavement during the COVID-19 pandemic can call.

Support available to health service staff:

Coronavirus staff support

The HSE Employee Assistance Programme (EAP) is a work-based support service for staff and the organisation. This is a confidential independent service. It supports employees with psychosocial issues (psychological and social factors that influence mental health). These issues may be personal, or work related, affecting your job performance or home life.  Access to Occupational Health and EAP Staff Engagement. The service is free and available to all HSE employees.

Silver Cloud Health is a self-help resource which can help people to manage their mental health needs and stay well.  The programmes are free to HSE staff and cover topics on: Dealing with Stress; Building Resilience; Improving your Sleep; and Space from COVID-19.  Click here to access the programmes online. Once on the Silver Cloud website, complete the sign-up process and enter the access code HSE2020 when prompted to do so.

Health and Safety additional information or support in relation to, your health and safety queries can be directed to 1850 420 420 which is currently the dedicated Healthcare Worker COVID-19 helpline.

Two new COVID-19 Psychological Support modules are now available on HSE Land

o   Psychological Support: Looking after your wellbeing during Covid-19

o   Psychological Support: Looking after your wellbeing during Covid-19 – A Manager’s Guide

The HSE library now provides access to over 200 new mental health e-books and the books are accessible through the library website and on the Borrow box app.  You will need an open Athens account if accessing through the HSE Library

 Launch Minding Your Wellbeing videos series,

A recording of the November 3rd launch of the Minding Your Wellbeing videos series, chaired by Anne Sheridan, Programme Manager for the Mental Health and Wellbeing Programme in HSE Health and Wellbeing. The new resource was launched by Minister Frank Feighan, Minister for Public Health Wellbeing and National Drugs Strategy and Minister Mary Butler, Minister for Mental Health and Older People. This launch event included inputs from Dr. Stephanie O’Keefe, HSE National Director of Strategic Planning and Transformation and Teresa McElhinney HSE Senior Health Promotion Officer, who was the lead in developing the programme and who is the presenter of the video series. The launch also included inputs from a variety of speakers including Tony Bates, Adjunct Professor of Psychology, UCD and founder of Jigsaw as well as Zelda di Blasi and Mike Murphy from UCC School of Psychology. The panel discussion also included inputs from Dr. Sinead Reynolds, HSE Mental Health and from Nodlaig Carroll from HSE HR Workplace Health and Wellbeing Unit

Link to the recording of this webinar :

 A new video-based mental wellbeing programme called Minding Your Wellbeing is now freely accessible.

Brought to you by HSE Health and Wellbeing, this evidence-based programme provides a unique opportunity for people to learn more about mindfulness, gratitude, self-care and resilience.

As we continue to adapt our lifestyles to deal with COVID-19 and are faced with different challenges, Minding Your Wellbeing aims to provide simple tools and guidance to develop and maintain a positive outlook by looking after our mental health and wellbeing. This programme focuses on the promotion of mental wellbeing and has been adapted from a face-to-face programme into a series of short online videos for the public at this time. It’s free to access anytime so why not try one of the videos and go from there.

 What does the programme consist of?

The programme consists of 5 video sessions (of about 20 minutes each) which you can visit below.

  1. Practicing Self-Care

Explores the idea of individual’s ‘self-care’ and encourages participants to build their own ‘self-care toolkit’ which includes healthy habits for our mental health and wellbeing

  1. Understanding Our Thoughts

Invites participants to reflect on their own thinking and consider how thinking patterns can impact  wellbeing.

  1. Exploring Emotions

Encourages participants to notice their emotions and increase their positive emotions to improve their wellbeing.

  1. Building Positive Relationships

Discusses ways in which participants can nurture, value and foster positive relationships which are so important for mental wellbeing.

  1. Improving Our Resilience

Invites participants to build their resilience, learn about the building blocks of resilience including the importance of focussing on strengths.

This is the first time that HSE Health and Wellbeing has developed a programme focused on positive mental health for the public delivered in this way. With an increasing need for, and use of, online supports, it is hoped that innovative programmes like this can reach more and more people.

Link to this resource

‘Men’s Mental Health in these Challenging Times’ .

HSE Health and Wellbeing would also like to invite you to  next public webinar event on International Men’s Day 19th November at 11-12.30  ‘Men’s Mental Health in these Challenging Times’ . Which will have inputs from a range of expertise and experience including research and insights relating to young men, farmers and men who attend men’s sheds.

You can register for this event

Governments Keep well Campaign

An Taoiseach, Micheál Martin T.D, the Minister for Health, Stephen Donnelly T.D, and Minister of State for the Department of Health, with responsibility for Public Health, Well Being and the National Drugs Strategy, Frank Feighan T.D., have today (Thursday October 29th) launched the “Keep Well” campaign which aims to support people and communities to mind their physical and mental health over the coming months.

The Government Plan for Living with COVID-19: Resilience and Recovery 2020-2021 highlights the important role that individual and community resilience will play in contributing to our ongoing response to COVID-19.

Today’s launch is a call to action to everyone across our society. It is an invitation to individuals, communities, voluntary groups, sporting organisations, those involved in creativity and the arts, local heritage and history, businesses, as well as local and national government to find ways to support everyone to discover new activities and routines that will do us good.

The “Keep Well” campaign is aimed at showing people of all ages how we can mind our own physical and mental health and wellbeing by adding healthy and helpful habits to our daily and weekly routines. It will provide guidelines, information, and tips on things that will help us keep well through the coming months. All of this will be available on

Today’s launch includes the allocation of funding from Sláintecare to support a number of initiatives through the Healthy Ireland Fund that will be rolled out over the coming months. Information about local resources and initiatives will also be available through Ireland’s Local Authorities.

This launch builds on the “In This Together” campaign which happened earlier in the year. The “Keep Well” campaign is focussed on five main themes:

Keeping active – keeping active and being outdoors, even during the winter, is important to help physical and mental health and wellbeing.

Sport Ireland is leading a series of initiatives that will support people to stay active in their own local areas throughout the winter. In addition, sporting organisations and clubs are invited to develop ways to support local communities.

Staying connected – staying connected with people, addressing isolation, supporting volunteerism and initiatives that support person-to-person connection is important to our wellbeing.

Building on the Community Call response earlier in the year, Local Authorities are being supported to provide a local community helpline and befriending service. Working with partner organisations, including A Garda Síochána, NGOs and Volunteer Ireland, there will be a particular emphasis on identifying and supporting those most at risk of isolation.

Switching off and being creative – switching off and being creative or learning something new, getting back to nature and finding ways to relax can help our general wellbeing.

The Local Authorities and libraries, with advice from the Creative Ireland Programme, and working with partners at national and local level, will provide a range of initiatives to support individual and community creativity in the arts, crafting, culture and heritage.

Eating Well – by nourishing our bodies and minds, we can develop a better connection between the food we eat and how we feel and positively impact our physical and mental wellbeing.

Bord Bia will provide information and resources to support healthy eating this winter. Safefood will implement the next phase of their “START” campaign, focussing on making the most of family time and adding healthy habits. In addition, the network of libraries around the country will facilitate a major initiative with Grow It Yourself in early 2021, to support more people to grow their own food – in whatever small way they can – helping to forge greater connections between growing food and eating well and develop community networks.

Minding your mood – equipping people with information on where to go if they need support. This will also be linked with the local community helpline to ensure that people can access the support they need.

 SOR Covid-19: A professional lead sonographer’s perspective

Frontline work during a major incident is part of the role of a radiographer. Personal events that come to mind are working on the west coast of New Zealand when a viewing platform collapsed, resulting in the death of over 20 students and leaving just six survivors. Also being on duty at Glasgow’s Royal Hospital for Sick Children at the time of the Dunblane massacre.

As a general medical sonographer and professional lead, coronavirus has not hit the sonographer workforce with the same ferocity as it has many radiographers. Nevertheless, it has turned out to be a most difficult period professionally. This pandemic is not a short, sharp shock; it is a marathon.

Reports coming out of Wuhan and mainland Europe were bleak but informative. Guidance around PPE was shifting rapidly but it was obvious to most that sonographers were at high risk due to prolonged patient contact. Remaining in communication with Gill Harrison, Professional Officer for Ultrasound at SCoR, enabled advice on the changing situation to be received.
Evidence from Wuhan showed that ultrasound doctors were 50% more likely to contract the virus (1) compared to medics as a whole and that around 30% of the asymptomatic population had the virus (2). The International Society of Obstetrics & Gynaecology (ISUOG) webinars were informative and helpful.
In late March and early April, almost a quarter of our sonographers were self-isolating with presumed coronavirus in our department. A much-loved Health Care Support Worker colleague was ventilated and extremely unwell with the virus (they have since returned home and continue to recuperate) . Staff anxiety was understandably high and, after what seemed an age, getting approval to use PPE for all cases was an enormous relief. Our management team used regular teleconferencing and virtual meetings to communicate, which worked surprisingly well.

Practicalities and prioritisation
Although point-of-care ultrasound was used to evaluate pulmonary fibrosis by critical care doctors, this was not part of the general medical sonographers’ role with the health board. Routine examinations were cancelled, and we only responded to urgent cases.
Patient safety was paramount. NHS Greater Glasgow & Clyde’s ten radiology departments had to be transformed hastily. Specific red and green rooms, routes and waiting areas were identified. In some older sites, waiting areas could not accommodate patients. Ultrasound units were moved into clinics in order to maintain essential services.
All requests were re-vetted and prioritised. Most were put on hold. As time stood still, risk mitigation became a concern and urgent suspicion of cancer and medically planned cases were prioritised. As services now re-start, there is a huge backlog of patients.

The art of the possible
While the backlog is a significant clinical risk, the challenges of social distancing and PPE availability, staff shielding, limited access to equipment and waiting areas, patient anxiety and staff morale are now important considerations as we move into the next phase.
When re-vetting thousands of requests, it became apparent that a significant proportion were duplicates or had no appropriate clinical question. Liaising with clinical colleagues, a brief audit showed 17% of requests could be returned. Specialist vetting groups were set up and there is now a proposal to introduce specific teaching for vetting, and the allocation of vetting time.
The volume of requests received is returning to near that of pre-pandemic levels and shows no signs of abating. This is in part due to virtual clinics that do not allow for physical examination, resulting in a heavier reliance on diagnostic tests. As waiting times are longer, some referrers are upgrading requests to urgent in order to push through scans more quickly but this practice results in longer waits for other patients.
How to deal with the volume of requests coupled with limited access is a conundrum.
An ultrasound Special Interest Group (SIG) in Scotland has proved invaluable in these times. Lead sonographers from each health board work collaboratively and all boards report similar concerns: loss of capacity by at least 30%; staff burn-out; waiting-time pressures. Most report they can facilitate scanning inpatients and urgent or semi-urgent cases but there is little capacity to clear the backlog in the near future.
SIG members have been in contact with Scottish Government around ways to alleviate the burden. A national sonographer bank has been advocated by the SIG which may help with the backlog, allow for cross-boundary working and reduce the governance issues that can come with the use of locums. It is at present unclear if this idea will come to fruition. Some staff have expressed an interest in more flexible working patterns and are keen to extend the day slightly (8am – 6pm model). This model would be cost effective as there is no need for enhanced payment and enables increased throughput while allowing for social distancing. A cautious approach is required in order to reduce risk of repetitive strain injury.

The future
As the coronavirus crisis continues there is no quick fix. We all speak of a ‘new normal’ but how will that look?
More virtual meetings are anticipated as opposed to sitting in traffic before heading to a conference room en masse. This will allow more time to clinically respond to the backlog.
Perhaps patients and referrers will appreciate the value of the NHS and utilise it more appropriately moving forward?
For weeks we stood on our doorsteps and ‘Clapped for Carers’. We were deemed heroes. Government and the NHS boards must commit to investing in diagnostics rather than deal with the consequences of delayed diagnoses or treatment. How do we best invest in the NHS? Appropriate financing is imperative. Nonetheless, vitally, we need a pledge to respect and enable its biggest resource: its staff.

Online Mental Health Supports for healthcare staff, both clinical and non-clinical.

There are a number of resources now available to staff as a result of investment in staff psychological wellbeing.

  1. Two new COVID-19 Psychological Support modules are now available on HSELand.  ‘Psychological Support: Looking after your wellbeing during Covid-19’and ‘Psychological Support: Looking after your wellbeing during Covid-19 – A Manager’s Guide’  are both located in the Personal Effectiveness Skills catalogue of HSELand. Both courses are designed for all healthcare staff, both clinical and non-clinical, within the HSE, voluntary sector and Section 38/39 agencies.  One module is for staff, and the second module is for managers of frontline staff.  Both modules provide guidance on minding mental health and wellbeing during the Coronavirus pandemic. Learners will gain an understanding of the theory of psychological first aid and practical supports around a pandemic drawn from international research and experiences of other countries; the concept of Moral Injury is also explored.
  2. The HSE library now provides access to over 200 new mental health e-books and the books are accessible through the library website and on the Borrowbox app.  You will need an open Athens account if accessing through the HSE Library.
  3. SilverCloud Health is a self-help resource which can help people to manage their mental health needs and stay well.  The programmes are free to HSE staff and cover topics on: Dealing with Stress; Building Resilience; Improving your Sleep; and Space from COVID-19.   on the SilverCloud website, complete the sign-up process and enter the access code HSE2020 when prompted to do so.


Click here to access the programmes online.

HSE Webinar on Working from Home Many of you work in full time clinical roles , but I am aware of some staff at senior management level who are working from home . some helpful tips

  • Create daily routine
  • Defined boundaries of when you start nd finish work
  • Try move more / Sit less
  • Stand on calls
  • Limit zoom meetings to one hour at time
  • Consider challenges such as Escape the Chair (Irish heart foundation )
  • Important to engage in a support network
  • Take a break get some fresh air
  • Create a to do list
  • Be mindful of the following 1. what you can control, 2. what you can influence and 3. what you have to accept
  • I will include the link to the recording in next weeks resources.

HSE Stress Control Programme for staff and the general public

Stress Control, is a 3-week programme delivered by Dr Jim White, Consultant Clinical Psychologist, Stress Control Ltd. The programme is scheduled for commencement again in October with a subsequent programme to run in November. Sessions are available every Monday and Thursday and are broadcast at 2pm and 8:30pm ( they will also be available up for 48 hours after each broadcast)

 Project Objectives: 

  • Deliver a user-friendly experience and encourage people who are feeling depressed, anxious or emotional to sign up for the programme.
  • To encourage members of the public and staff to sign up and participate in the programme. This is a free programme. To participate simply visit

Focus on what you can control


Simon Harris shared this image on twitter to support people during these challenging times. With 6 weeks of lockdown minding our mental health is now essential

Breast Cancer Awareness Month:

This month marks Breast Cancer Awareness Month around the world. And while much progress has been made in the treatment and survival of breast cancer, there is still much work to be done! Did you know? Incidence of breast cancer has risen by 33% in ten years. Every day in Ireland 7 women are diagnosed with breast cancer. Breast cancer in Ireland: Nearly 3,000 women a year are diagnosed with breast cancer in Ireland. Breast cancer is the second-most common cancer in women, after non-melanoma skin cancer. While much progress has been made in treating and surviving breast cancer, over 700 women die each year because of this disease.

Breast cancer research: Despite the increase in breast cancer incidence, the number of survivors are increasing, with more than 85% of those with a breast cancer diagnoses now living 5 years and beyond.

Information, resources and support for people affected by breast cancer: Questions or concerns about breast cancer? Our specialist cancer nurses can help. Call us on Freephone 1800 200 700 Monday to Friday 10-4 to speak to one of our cancer nurses. You can also email your inquiries to or use our online submission form to send in your question.

Hseland Psychological Support Modules (COVID-19)

The aim of the programme is to provide guidance to staff and managers on minding mental health and wellbeing during the Coronavirus pandemic. This programme is designed for all healthcare staff, volunteers and managers, both clinical and non-clinical, within the HSE, voluntary sector, and Section 38/39 agencies. There are two modules:  Module 1 is 45 mins and Module 2 is 32 mins .Upon competition of the programme learners will gain an understanding of the theory of psychological first aid and information on practical supports around a pandemic drawn from experiences of other countries and international research.

Derek Chambers, National Connecting for Life Lead, Mental Health, HSE commented:

“We’re all very busy dealing with the current crisis, but that’s all the more reason to pause and reflect on our mental health and wellbeing during the pandemic . We need to do what we can to protect ourselves against crisis-related stress – and know where to go for support if we need it.”
The programme content was developed by experienced senior psychologists working in the HSE both of whom have been involved in providing psychological support in the aftermath of serious events.  These range from providing support following critical incidents in Northern Ireland in the 1980s to being a first responder in New York City following the events of 9/11.

Keeping well during COVID-19:Information for older people Having your cupboard stocked with non-perishable food and drinks is a big help if you can’t get out to the shops. Choose products that have a long shelf life but please check the best before and use by dates before use. See the table below for some ideas of foods to keep at home

Covid-19 Vs Social Isolation Less than three months into the new year the UK and the majority of the world would be fighting COVID-19. This virus is causing havoc and it is not selective in whom it attaches itself to, whether you are poor, wealthy, a celebrity, an older adult, or a new-born child. However, the advice given, and how we are able to protect ourselves varies between wealth and crucially age.

 HSE Webinar Oct 22, 2020 3:30 PM

Sláintecare in partnership with IFIC Ireland and the HSE is pleased to invite you to our fifth Sláintecare Integration Fund Learning Network Webinar which is taking place on Thursday 22nd October 2020 from 3.30pm to 5pm.
The focus of this webinar is on Health & Wellbeing and on empowering people and communities to be more engaged in their own health and wellbeing.

 Register : Click here:

 HSE Webinar: Keeping Well When Working from Home Oct 21, 2020 12:30 PM


Many people who are working from home may not have the daily commute but are facing daily challenges to maintain their health and wellbeing while working from home. We would like to share some tips on how to keep well while working from home during this current challenging and stressful environment.
Supporting each other when working from home: Sarah McCormack, National Healthy Ireland & Staff Health & Wellbeing Lead, Strategic Planning and Transformation

Escape your chair: Tara Curran, Irish Heart Foundation,

Good food, good mood- healthy eating when working from home: Margaret O’Neil, National Dietetic Lead The presentations will be followed by a question and answer session.

Register Click here:

Professor Mary Horgan . The consequences of restrictions are individuals feeling isolated, stress regarding the loss of jobs and income. People are fearful of leaving their houses to do the shopping. Professor Horgan discusses the difficulty of balancing the need to suppress the spread of Covid-19 with the necessity of trying to keep the economy going .

World Mental Health Day 10th October

World Mental Health Day 2020 calls for equality for everyone, everywhere. World Mental Health Day will take place on October 10th and the theme this year is Mental Health for All – Greater Investment – Greater Access. Everyone, everywhere. The World…

World Mental Health Day will take place on October 10th and the theme this year is Mental Health for All – Greater Investment – Greater Access. Everyone, everywhere.

The World Economic Forum (2018) noted that mental health illnesses are on the rise in every country in the world and could cost the global economy up to $16 trillion between 2010 and 2030. We could be facing an international mental health crisis if a collective response is not addressed.

The World Federation for Mental Health who decide the theme for WMHD each year state that mental health is a human right – it’s time that mental health is available for all. Quality, accessible primary health care is the foundation for universal health coverage and is urgently required as the world grapples with the current health emergency. We therefore need to make mental health a reality for all – for everyone, everywhere.

With the launch of our new Mental Health Policy in Ireland – Sharing the Vision – recently, our Government are being asked to invest more in making these actions and recommendations a reality.

You too can play your part. Greater investment can include taking time to learn more about mental health, our wellbeing, and the services in our community that can better support our mental health and wellbeing. By learning more about mental health and wellbeing, we can become empowered to take control and improve our wellbeing.

Mental Health Ireland is  currently planning a range of activities through the support of our Development Officers, Mental Health Associations and partners. Please check our website for details in the run up to October 10th.

Watch this space!

Mental Health Policy in Ireland Sharing the Vision

‘Sharing the Vision’ is the successor to ‘A Vision for Change’ that was launched in 2006. It carries forward those elements of the original policy that still have relevance in-light of expert opinion. It incorporates new recommendations as appropriate to enhance national policy, while simultaneously aligning with the ten-year vision for reform and transformation of Ireland’s health and social care services encapsulated in the Sláintecare report.

Sharing the Vision focuses on developing a broad based, whole system mental health policy for the whole of the population. A large-scale consultation process informed the recommendations in this policy, and directly engaged a wide range of stakeholders, including people with personal experience, family members, community and voluntary sector groups and staff.

 Sharing the Vision A Mental Health Policy for Everyone :Full Policy Document  file:///C:/Users/IIRRT%20CPD%20OFFICER/Downloads/76770_b142b216-f2ca-48e6-a551-79c208f1a247.pdf

Aware Advice Covid-19 (coronavirus) is with us for now. Life changes have come upon us, with huge changes in ways of living and daily routines, job losses, changes in work practices, changes to schooling, our elderly at risk, maybe people we know are ill, perhaps we are very concerned we will get ill ourselves. Managing our anxiety levels during this time is paramount. As the Covid-19 pandemic remains with us for the time being, the HSE and Department of Health are providing us with reliable, necessary and helpful information, advice and guidance about preventing its spread, how to keep ourselves and our loved ones safe. Anxiety involves a frequent unpleasant feeling typically associated with uneasiness, apprehension and worry. It has physical, behavioural and emotional affects. Physically it can manifest as racing heart, sweating, rapid breathing, disturbed sleep, tense muscles. Emotionally it can manifest as excessive and undue worrying, feelings of panic. It can impact one’s thoughts which can become preoccupied with unhelpful or morbid thoughts. It has many and varied individual behavioural impacts. Aware have produced a very short video clip less than 2 minutes of helpful advice about managing your mental well-being during the Covid-19 pandemic.

Mental Health USI  Minding your mental health the spread of the Corona Virus can be very challenging for us all so it’s important that we take care of ourselves and our mental health. We have compiled some useful resources below which you can use to keep your mind healthy.

Here are the top tips from our international panel of experts for team leaders and managers.

Advice for health Care Managers from Greenbery et al 2020

  • Healthcare staff are at increased risk of moral injury and mental health problems when dealing with challenges of the Covid-19 pandemic
  • Healthcare managers need to proactively take steps to protect the mental wellbeing of staff
  • Managers should be frank about the situations staff are likely to face
  • Staff can be supported by reinforcing teams, and providing regular contact, to discuss decisions and check on wellbeing
  • Once the crisis begins to recede, staff must be actively monitored, supported, and, where necessary, provided with evidence-based treatments

Decompression Vs Debriefing

  • Decompression and structured operational debriefs: These are made routine ways to relieve the build-up of stress during a shift by sharing at its end and learning from each other. This sharing has to be blame-free, iterative, reflective, kind and supportive. It cascades and influences compassion and attitudes to each other and our ill patients. It is sometimes called operational team debriefing.
  • NB. Ensure staff do not feel compelled to talk about personal experiences they do not feel ready to talk about
  • There are different styles used to help decompress including ‘buddy systems’ and modified Schwartz rounds with a facilitator
  • However, psychological debriefing session/s, which were in vogue some years ago, after a traumatic misadventure have been found to be harmful and worsen the psychological outcomes for staff
  • As a manager or team leader it may be helpful to seek advice from your colleagues in psychiatry or clinical psychology on how to set up an appropriate support system for your staff. You are advised to refer to the national pathway
  • It is necessary to have other mechanisms to reach out to those who do not immediately participate (or even more worryingly, refuse to participate) in offers of support or processes intended to support mental wellbeing
  • We are not superheroes. We need to be looked after too. That is a top priority so that we can carry on effectively in our role or service

Stigma Health Care Workers may face

Healthcare workers can be affected by both self-critical and external stigma related to the COVID-19 virus and its impact, such as:

  • Healthcare workers’ self-stigma about voicing their needs and fears
  • Managers can help by empathising, pointing out that stigma is unsurprising, if distressing within the COVID-19 situation, and highlighting camaraderie at work
  • Others’ fear of contact with those treating patients with COVID-19

Due to the ongoing uncertainty surrounding COVID-19, and following public health advice from the Irish Government, the RCSI MyHealth Series 2020/2021 will take place online only.  

As a health sciences institution, we want to do our part in containing the spread of COVID-19 and ensuring the health, safety and well-being of our communities and all those working in healthcare. We at RCSI are committed to continuing public healthcare education and we are confident that the virtual RCSI MyHealth Series will prove highly informative.

 A Toolkit for Winter Readiness 13th October

This year, the usual winter illnesses and the topic of influenza season will be at the forefront of everyone’s minds. Should we expect to see very little flu this winter, or will it be a severe flu season with surges in COVID-19 cases? How will this compound the stresses of COVID-19? How can we best protect ourselves from getting the winter flu this year? The panel will address these genuine concerns and discuss how best to prepare for the winter ahead to avoid getting sick. This panel discussion will be chaired by Professor Ciaran O’Boyle, Director of the RCSI Centre for Positive Psychology and Health. Register your interest for this event now – a link to the lecture will be shared in advance.

#OurHealthService Resource Officer for Suicide Prevention Martin Ryan ran 10 weeks of cooking classes late last year with a group of men to promote better mental health and wellbeing. The classes were so successful that the group published a cookbook featuring some of their favourite recipes. Martin, reflecting on the success of the initiative said “It was very humbling to see the men enjoy the fun within the kitchen, and support each other at the same time. It proves that if we think just a little differently about our approach, long lasting changes can happen.”

Read the full story: Click Here:

Royal College of Surgeons in Ireland

Due to the ongoing uncertainty surrounding COVID-19, and following public health advice from the Irish Government, the RCSI MyHealth Series 2020/2021 will take place online only.

Living with the New Normal 29th September

The COVID-19 pandemic has led to a certain level of change in how we go about our daily lives.  For some people, coping with this change has been particularly difficult.  From young children to the elderly in our society – everyone is coming to terms with living with the ‘new normal’. The panel will address the significant impact that sudden and extreme change can have on people’s lives, what we can do to make change easier to accept, and how to talk to our children about COVID-19

This panel discussion will be chaired by Professor Ciaran O’Boyle, Director of the RCSI Centre for Positive Psychology and Health.

To  Register: Click Here:

HSE photography group

Occupational therapists on the Coolock & Darndale Community Mental Health Teams brought together service users and team members to form a photography group to tackle isolation during the COVID-19 restrictions.

“Gratitude and community engagement were promoted through themes such as things that make me smile, city scenes, and nature. The weekly theme areas were broad and client-centered, allowing participants to express their own personal experiences and diversity” said Paula Maher, who is an Occupational therapist in Coolock. Click Here:

HSE Health and Wellbeing have developed a number of Staff Health and Wellbeing initiatives which will be shared and promoted to health service staff.

Watch Dr. Stephanie O’Keeffe, HSE National Director of Strategic Planning and Transformation, as she introduces these to staff and encourages managers to share this information with their staff teams

Health service staff continue to deal with various challenges in very different work environments with many staff working from home and/or redeployed to new roles. As Covid-19 continues to impact on all areas of our work and home lives, it is more important than ever to take time for our health and wellbeing.

The Irish Heart  Foundation :Escape your Chair Campaign

The Irish Heart Foundation’s Escape Your Chair Heart Month campaign supported by HSE Health & Wellbeing is calling on the nation to Escape Your Chair by moving for a minute each hour during the day. While the HSE have staff working in many different environments, there is a high percentage of HSE staff who are currently working from home.  This campaign is aimed at highlighting the importance of staying active when working from home to maintain a healthy heart.

Stress Control programme online, is a 3-week programme is free of charge to the public and delivered by Dr Jim White, Consultant Clinical Psychologist, Stress Control Ltd.

The programme is scheduled for commencement again on the following dates: 7 September, 5 October and 2 November. This is a free programme and to participate simply visit  to register.​

Sessions are available every Tuesday and Thursday and are broadcast at 2pm and 8:30pm ( they will also be available up for 48 hours after each broadcast)

Project Objectives:

  • Deliver a user-friendly experience and encourage people who are feeling depressed, anxious or emotional to sign up for the programme
  • To encourage members of the public and staff to sign up and participate in the programme

This is a free programme and to participate simply visit  to register.

More than 2,000 people in Ireland and across the globe have signed up to the Irish Heart Foundation’s September ‘Escape Your Chair’ campaign, with many others kindly agreeing to host a Stand-Up Coffee Morning on World Heart Day, Tuesday the 29th of September.

The latest figures show that a total of 2,364 people have signed up to take the Escape Your Chair challenge with some committing to escape their chairs for a minute every hour from as far afield as Australia and the US.

Following the revelation that more than half of people working from home in Ireland as a result of COVID-19 restrictions are sitting down for an average of two hours and 40 minutes longer per day it is now more important than ever for us to get regular physical activity. With similar restrictions in place in some countries around the world, it is clear that COVID-19 is having a real impact on our ability to reduce our sitting times.

Sitting for long periods of time increases your risk of heart disease and stroke and sadly almost 9,000 lives are lost every year in Ireland to cardiovascular disease.

 Register for Escape the Chair Challenge here

Irish Heart Foundation Helpful tips

With more people now working from home please have a read of this guide from the Irish Heart Foundation

HSE Advice on Working from Home

The HSE provide some helpful tips about working from ho,

All Ireland Institute of Hospice and Palliative Care. Palliative Care Week (13 – 19 September 2020)

The seventh annual Palliative Care Week is taking place across the island of Ireland from 13 to 19 September 2020.Palliative Care Week is facilitated by All Ireland Institute of Hospice and Palliative Care which hope this year’s awareness campaign ‘Palliative Care: In This Together’ will be a valuable opportunity to promote the quality of life benefits of palliative care.

Quality of life is sustained where all supports for a person with palliative care needs are engaged, including the wider community alongside health and social care. This has been a feature of the community response to COVID-19. COVID-19 has increased the importance of discussing palliative care.

A Palliative Care Experience Video project was undertaken with the support of the HSE Quality Improvement Team and these personal stories will be featuring throughout Palliative Care Week.

All Palliative Care Week news, resources, and details of events are available on The Palliative Hub here and for updates follow @AIIHPC and check out the #pallcareweek hashtag.

Presentation on Palliative Care National Clinical Guidelines

Age Actions’ Getting Started KIT supports older people to keep in touch with their loved ones during the Covid-19 pandemic. We all are feeling the effects of social distancing, and older people are particularly impacted being asked to cocoon at home. Now it is more important than ever to keep in touch with family and friends, so Age Action drew on our Getting Started programme which offered face to face digital skills classes, to create easy How to Guides. The Getting Started KIT is made up of seven How To guides that will support older people to learn, use, and be confident using smartphones and applications. The Age Action Getting Started KIT materials are available to download below or people can call 01 8730372 leave their name and address and Age Action will post the How to Guides within 10 days.

Age Action Resources :

”Covid Care Concerts’

Covid Care Concerts’ is a partnership between the Mobile Music Machine company and Blackwater Valley Opera Festival with funding from Creative Ireland. They have already performed over 80 outdoor, socially distanced recitals in six counties. Performances include music from Mozart to ABBA. The tour is the idea of Mobile Music Machine founder and director Gerald Peregrine who wanted to “bring high quality classical music into the lives of those most affected by the Covid-19 pandemic.”  “Like most performing artists, my career stopped overnight and all live music ceased. It was really in response to the government community call. I was looking to use my talent in a useful way and to give back. “If there is one positive thing to emerge from the pandemic, it has shone a light on the desperate need to engage on a more regular basis with the most isolated members of society. “Through our repeated concert visits, we hope to build long-lasting friendships with the residents of care homes throughout the county,” he said. The Mobile Music Machine company perform in the courtyard of HavenWood care home One of the performances took place in the courtyard of HavenWood care home in Co Waterford with residents watching the concerts outside and from their open bedroom windows .Like many care homes around the country, the residents and staff of HavenWood have endured months of anxiety and fear. The Head of Nursing at HavenWood, Regina Power, says the live music helps calm the residents and “let’s all the stress go away.” “When Covid came into Ireland in March, we didn’t know what to expect. We closed our doors on 6 March. On the Wednesday, the residents had a normal day. Their families, friends were in to visit. “And then on the Thursday, we are going around explaining that we’ve gone into lockdown. That we’ll have to start communicating with your families on iPads and phones. You know, it was tough on them,” she said. “Nothing beats live music, does it?” she added

Strategies to develop student support mechanisms in medical radiation sciences clinical education

Clinical placement experience is an important component of medical radiation science (MRS) education, equipping students to safely transition into complex healthcare environments. This commentary draws on evidence from the literature that reports challenges allied health students face in clinical environments. As several factors are implicated that could result in a higher prevalence of psychological distress and mental ill-health in MRS students, there is a need to re-emphasize the importance of developing strategies to support students in clinical education. A key recommendation is to identify associated risk factors early as they can impact on the quality of education and in severe cases be detrimental to students’ psychological well-being. This requires an understanding of the full extent and nature of the challenges through partnered approaches between professional organisations, clinical departments, academics and students. Developing evidence-based strategies for improving students’ well-being in clinical environments is also essential.

Link to Article

 Fig. 1The range of associated risk factors students can potentially encounter in clinical environments


Inspire has some helpful idea to help suggestions and advice  encourage you to look after your mental health during these challenging times.

The coronavirus crisis can affect us in many different ways: physically, emotionally, economically, socially, and psychologically. Because the virus is unseen, unknown and seemingly inescapable, it grips us with a sense of dread, driving unhealthy thought patterns and associations.

The issue is dominating the news and conversations everywhere. You can become overwhelmed with information, making life feel difficult or stressful. During these testing times, we want to encourage you to look after your mental wellbeing, as well as your physical self — this is extremely important.

There are various steps that you can take to help your wellbeing. This information is to help you cope with:

  • Feelings of anxiety around coronavirus.
  • Staying at home or avoiding public places.
  • Self-isolation. Remember, we’re talking about physical distancing — not emotional distancing.

 Further information available on Click Here:


Are you feeling isolated due to the suspension of many peer support meetings nationwide due to Covid-19? Aware is providing a new phone-in Support & Self Care Group as well as a new Zoom Support & Self Care Group click below to find out more about each of these types of group:

The Aware phone-in Support & Self Care Group is a peer group for people experiencing anxiety, mild to moderate depression, bipolar disorder and mood related conditions, in order to give and receive support.

How does it work?
  • Groups are limited to 10 people
    [8 participants and 2 volunteers]
  • The meeting will run for 60 minutes.

Zoom Support & Self Care Group

The Aware Zoom Support & Self Care Group is a peer group for people experiencing anxiety, mild to moderate depression, bipolar disorder and mood related conditions, in order to give and receive support.

How does it work?
  • Groups are limited to 9 people
    [7 participants and 2 volunteers]
  • The meeting will run for 60 minutes.

If you do not have a zoom account, you will need to follow these two steps to take part in the programme:

  1. Create an account with Zoom (click here to sign up for an account)
  2. Download the Zoom Desktop Client to your PC (click here to download)

Please note, Aware is unable to offer technical support when it comes to setting up your account and PC. However, Zoom have an online help centre for additional information and technical support, which you can access here.
Freephone Aware  1800 80 48 48 Available Monday – Sunday 10am to 10pm

The Aware Support Line service is a free service and is available to anyone, aged 18 years and over, who is seeking support and information about issues relating to their own mood or the mood of a friend or family member, or who experiences depression or bipolar disorder.

It is available to you, if you are feeling anxiety or worry in relation to the current Covid-19 outbreak and would like to know what supports and services are available to you .

Online Education Programmes the Life Skills Online Programme is comprised of eight modules which you can work through online in your own time from the comfort of your own home. You benefit from the support of an Aware trained volunteer supporter for the first eight weeks, who you can choose to share progress with. To get the most from this programme we recommend you complete one module per week for eight consecutive weeks. Your supporter will check in with you online to see how you’re getting on with each week’s module. After this eight-week period, you will have access to the modules to review and reflect upon for up to 12 months


Registration for the Steps to Health Challenge extended to Sunday 23rd August 2020

Follow us on twitter @hsesteps The Steps Challenge is a five

week walking challenge that supports staff to walk more. It starts on 14 September and finishes on 18 October 2020.The aim is to get out walking and counting your steps daily. It is open to every staff member, regardless of your fitness or ability level. We know it will be different this year due to COVID-19 as you may be walking with family and close friends. However, it can still be fun and beneficial to your mental and physical health. Post and share your action with colleagues on Twitter @hsesteps/

More information

“Let’s Get Moving Again” information booklet

HSE Dublin South, Kildare & West Wicklow & HSE Cork North/South Lee Community Healthcare in conjunction with the Irish Society for Chartered Physiotherapists have produced a “Let’s Get Moving Again” information booklet with eight daily exercises to encourage people to become active again after cocooning during COVID-19’.At today’s launch of the booklet Dr Gráinne Kelly ,Interim Physiotherapy Manager for the Dublin West area explained ‘Being physically active and exercising are important for good health. Many members of the public and users of physiotherapy services report fear and anxiety in returning to physical activity and exercise following periods of inactivity or reduced activity. The advice and exercises we are sharing in the Let’s Get Moving Again Booklet are to assist people in returning safely to physical activity and exercise. This booklet was developed as a follow on to a previous booklet related to exercise during the cocooning phase of COVID-19; however, its contents can be used beyond COVID-19 in helping people become more active and resume activities they enjoy.’ Speaking at the launch Esther-Mary D’Arcy, Professional Advisor with the Irish Society for Chartered Physiotherapists welcomed the publication of this booklet and hopes it will be widely distributed and used throughout the country. “As chartered physiotherapists we are extremely concerned about the impact of the pandemic on population health – the majority of our population has been unaffected by COVID-19 but has been affected by the pandemic. We would describe decreased activity  as the silent impact of the pandemic –  affecting strength and muscle mass, bone health, cardiac and chest health, weight management and mental health.  We hope that as the country opens up, this exercise programme will help people to ‘get moving’ and to enjoy the benefits”. Head of Primary Care Mary O’Kelly acknowledged the support provided to our physiotherapists  in the development of the booklet “This network of communication with the HSE Physiotherapy service, the Irish Society for Chartered Physiotherapists, South Dublin County Sports Partnership, Age Friendly Ireland, Kildare Sports Partnerships, Dublin City Sport & Wellbeing Partnership and  Creative Concepts has proved to be very positive and will enable us to communicate the Let’s Get Moving Again booklet to a wider audience.”

lets get moving booklet

A Guide for the Bereaved during the Covid-19 pandemic Phase Three

This guide has been updated to reflect the new guidelines to funeral arrangements.

Funeral Guidelines funeral guidelines

Building Resilience

The coronavirus has turned the world upside down, calling into question so many things we took for granted. The future is uncertain, all the more so as a return to the ‘old normal’ is not an option. What can we do? Develop our resilience, individually and collectively. We’ve created a series of videos that look at resilience – what it means and how to build it. It reminds us of the resources we have at our disposal, the ‘something inside so strong’ that sustains and keeps us connected.  Click Here:

Normal life has been disrupted

This is a guide regarding the disruption that Covid -19 has caused to our daily living routines most people are  spending  more time at home. The guide provides helpful tips to try and improve your day .

Normal life has been disrupted

Emotional Fitness

RSCI Institute of Leadership Podcast Dr Mary Collins

It’s important to respond to emotions in a positive way to provide reassurance to those around us. It is important to have positive routines to remain emotionally fit to weather challenges in times of a crisis. Emotionally strong people can react positively to changes. Simple practices include tuning in noticing how you are feeling on a given day.  Be careful not to supress your emotions. Be compassionate and kind to yourself. Foster and cultivate relationships in your life. Socially and emotionally connect to others. The most reliable sources of wellbeing is relationships. Protect your hope and positvity, as there so much negativity with the pandemic. Be mindful of all this negativity.  Set yourself some manageable targets for each day. Focus on gratitude, power of again reflecting on three things you are grateful for at the end of each day. Click Here:

RSCI Institute of Leadership Podcast Managing Energy in time of a crisis

Dr Mary Collins in conversation Kerry Cullen, Occupational  Psychologist

Energy management is a reminder of what we already know. In healthcare there can be a tendency to over give.

In times of crisis it is easy to let go of what gives us energy for example taking time out to do some exercise. People are  finding it difficult to switch off. People working from home are finding it difficult with the amount of time spent online with zoom meetings. When  you work from home you need physically manage your time, so you stop work and switch off.

Each person needs to incorporate the stop cues such as setting alarms for breaks and when to finish work. When you eat better and exercise you will feel better and hence perform better .

If you are on long zoom calls allow yourself the chance to walk about or turn camera off .

Start to pay attention  to yourself  everyone is trying to do their best and look at what you able to achieve. Bring awareness to your energy , what gives your energy and try incorporating exercise into your daily routine . Focus on small areas that you can make a change .

Energy audit questionnaire

WHO Coping with stress during the 2019-nCoV outbreak Poster?

Helpful poster for dealing with stress from WHO

Click Here:

WHO Poster Helping children cope with stress during the 2019-nCoV outbreak?

Click Here:

Steps to Health Challenge 2020 is back on from 14th September until 18th October

Registration now open .

The Steps to Health Challenge will be different this year because of COVID-19. However, it will still be fun and beneficial to all who participate. While some of our staff are never off their feet, many may be finding it difficult to reach their usual levels of physical activity, particularly those working from home. The Steps to Health Challenge runs for five weeks, supporting staff to walk more and count your steps daily so that you can record your improvements over time.

Due to COVID-19 we all have to be mindful of social distancing. So, this year we are encouraging smaller teams, between 2 and 10 participants, along with a team co-ordinator. We encourage you to walk as part of a virtual team if you are working from home during the challenge and suggest you walk with just one colleague at a time if you are in a workplace. If you took part in this challenge last year, please reuse your step counter. You can also use your smartwatch, mobile phone app or similar devices to count your daily steps.We will have some new competitions and prizes that will run throughout the challenge to keep us all motivated.

 What is the steps challenge?

The steps challenge is a five-week walking challenge that supports staff to walk more. The aim is to get you walking and counting your steps daily. Steps can be accumulated in many ways. Take the stairs instead of the lift. Walk during your break and after work. Most of us walk between 3,000 to 5,000 steps a day. We challenge you to make up the extra steps so that you reach the goal of 10,000, which is the recommended number of steps for health benefits.It might take longer for those who are inactive at present. You can break up the steps into ten-minute walks at a time and still get the health benefits.

Steps to Health is for everyone, regardless of your fitness or ability levels. Aim to increase your step count on a daily basis. Remember, every step counts!

Don’t miss out!  Join the fun while looking after your mental and physical wellbeing. Click Here:

Martin Griffin describes what it was like to be a newly qualified radiographer at the height of the pandemic

‘All I could think was that I hope my colleague can’t see me shaking’

 Staff self Care  in the context of covid: blog

Many disciplines contribute to the delivery of our Health Services, from primary care to acute  hospital care. These include medicine, nursing and the health and social care professionals.

As a hospital psychologist, I’m acutely aware of the additional ancillary disciplines, such as administrators, pharmacists, cleaners, caterers, porters, IT-experts, and security-personnel that also make invaluable contributions to the effective running of the health service. Each profession has its own challenges, and rewards, and all of them have been impacted by COVID-19.

In this Blog, I aim to speak to three things: the general well-being of healthcare staff, added stress due to COVID-19 and how we might cope with these demands.

How ‘well’ are we, anyway?

Most of the available data is limited to the well-being of doctors and nurses (not all healthcare disciplines), from other jurisdictions (not Ireland specifically). I’m part of a research group looking to change that.

Nevertheless, the data signals some stark warnings. Doctors and nurses are at higher risk of developing mental health problems, relative to the general population1,2. They are also at an increased risk of developing ‘burnout symptoms’1,3, and are more susceptible to sickness-related work-absences, particularly if working in public sector roles, large organizations, or being in a more junior role4.

Most alarmingly, they’re also at increased risk of suicide, which must say something about the demands of working in healthcare. These issues signal a need to increase support for healthcare workers, and remedy any ‘systemic’ issues that may be contributing.

Is COVID-19 adding additional stress?

Past pandemics have taught us that healthcare staff experience increased distress. What differentiates COVID-19 from other pandemics is its scale and the risk of the ‘system’ becoming overwhelmed.

It has led to unprecedented societal measures, such as lockdown, and public health measures, which have become ‘normal’. Bearing in mind that 30% of all Irish infections have been healthcare workers, we are one of the most affected groups.

Whilst we’ve all been affected to some extent, it’s clear that select subgroups of the health-force have experienced increased levels of anxiety, depressed mood and trauma.

More specifically, approximately 10-15% of healthcare workers report clinically significant distress, particularly those exposed to the frontline, and those at the earlier stages of their careers5.

However, one very interesting study is at pains to point out that baseline rates of poor mental-health are already very high within these healthcare worker cohorts and COVID-19 is only likely to be adding marginally to this6. Food for thought.

How can we cope?

Healthcare workers are capable, resilient, caring individuals with an ability to adapt to challenging environments. It’s possible you are already coping well. What follows is intended to remind us what’s recommended at times of crisis, viral pandemics included.

At an individual level, the aim is to stabilise and mitigate acute distress. One recommendation is to be attuned to your own emotional thermometer and responsive to it when it becomes at risk of getting ‘overheated’, so to speak. Practice relaxation. If you need to, seek the support of someone who’ll listen. Remember, not all problems need to be fixed, some just need to be heard and understood.

One of the most frequently offered pieces of advice by my colleagues was to ‘control the controllables’ and also to ‘switch off’ after one’s shift was completed. Having outside interests is invaluable in this regard.

One practical piece of advice is to remain informed but limit the extent to which you’re attending to news, which generally has a negative slant. If people are working on teams, regular ‘debrief’ sessions are considered helpful, where the focus is on communal support, not forced disclosure.

Some teams also introduced ‘buddy systems’, especially for junior colleagues.  With word limits against me, I’d finally suggest that framing one’s efforts in a meaningful way is another helpful psychological tactic. Sometimes it’s through adversity and sacrifice that we achieve something greatly significant. This is one of those time

Irish Medical Times Minding your mental health as a front-line healthcare worker

By irvingamede 18th June 2020

Senior Counselling Psychologist Dr Damien Lowry presents psychological advice targeted at front-line healthcare workers in the Irish health system for coping in the current environment of a COVID-19 pandemic Click Here:

The Irish Medical Times The significant impact of COVID-19 on mental health

In this article Galway-based GP Dr Brian Osborne outlines how the COVID-19 pandemic has affected the population to date, health sector strategies and gives some advice for the public on what individuals can do for themselves and others. “If we winter this one out, we can summer anywhere” The COVID-19 crisis and the subsequent changes across society have caused a significant impact on the mental health of the population.

In April, researchers from Ireland (Maynooth University and the Centre for Global Health, Trinity College Dublin), released the first wave of the Irish COVID-19 Psychological Survey; a multi-wave study running throughout the COVID-19 outbreak to better understand how people are responding, understanding, and coping with the pandemic. Click Here:

 Live-saving, innovative 24/7 text service launches in Ireland ‘50808’

 A new text based mental health service funded by the HSE launches today.

‘50808’ is a first of its kind for Ireland, a free 24/7 text service, providing everything from a calming chat to immediate support for people going through a mental health or emotional crisis. Crisis Volunteers are available 24/7 for anonymous text conversations. The aim is to provide immediate support in the short term and connect people to resources that will help them in the future.

Doireann Garrihy launches the service via a Zoom event with Simon Harris TD, Minister for Health, Jim Daly, Minister for Mental Health and Anne O’Connor, Chief Operations Officer HSE.

Anne O’Connor, Chief Operations Officer, HSE, said “The impact of this pandemic will be different for all of us and while not everyone will need mental health support, for those that do it’s important to have a variety of services that meet those needs. Picking up the phone and asking for help can appear daunting, but texting 50808 will connect you to a trained listening Crisis Volunteer. Parallel to this important service, the HSE, through our Psychosocial Response Project, is aligning the different levels of supports that are available online, by phone and text to improve accessibility to mental health resources for those who might be struggling at this time.”


Counselling and psychotherapy service MyMind is working with Slaintecare and HSE Ireland to provide fully subsidised, online mental health support for those affected by Covid-19 and frontline workers.

To be eligible for this support, you should be:

Presenting with COVID 19 related mental health issues (e.g. bereavement, social isolation/cocooning, illness, stress, depression, anxiety, addiction, domestic violence, etc.).

AND (at least one of the following)

– A front-line worker in a medical setting (e.g. HSE staff, nursing home staff, paramedic, public health worker, YYYY- Employed with low income (see threshold in How Do I Apply section)
– Unemployed due to COVID 19
– Bereaved resulting from COVID 19
– ,Over the age of 65
– Cocooning due to ill-health (regardless of age)

Visit the MyMind website for more information:

Stress Control

Don’t miss the last run this summer of the HSE’s successful Stress Control programme! The free on-line programme has already been completed by approximately 10,000 people in Ireland.

Go to to take part.

Please also note the Healthcare Worker Helpline 1850 420 420.

Join the conversation on social media @HsehealthW at #StressControlI

Irish Hospice Foundation Bereavement Support Line

Many people have experienced and will experience the death of someone they love during the COVID-19 pandemic. It may have been a COVID-related death or a death from other causes. People may also be finding a previous bereavement more difficult at this time.

While we may be seeing reductions in the number of deaths connected to COVID-19, we know that people’s pain and grief does not diminish as quickly.

In the face of such loss and trauma, the Irish Hospice Foundation Bereavement Support Line, in partnership with the HSE, has been launched to provide connection, comfort and support, in these exceptional times.

COVID-19 restrictions have changed the traditional ways we mark our grief. For the moment, it is not possible to come together like we did traditionally. This means many people are facing bereavement in isolation.

What is the IHF Bereavement Support line?

It is a national freephone service 1800 80 70 77 which will be available from 10am to 1pm, Monday to Friday

A guide for the Bereaved during the COVID-19 Pandemic

The Covid -19 pandemic has forced us to change the ways we usually deal with loss of a loved one . this guide . The guide is concerns with the time the death occurs up to the time of burial/cremation.

Supports for health care workers :

  • Crisis Text Line Ireland #ForTheFrontlines to get our support to the heroes of this pandemic. Text FRONTLINE to 086-1800-280 for support 24/7.
  • Stress Control ‘Stress Control’ is a six-session cognitive-behavioural therapy class used extensively in community-settings by the NHS (UK) and HSE (Ireland) and across the world.: Click Here:
  • Therapy Hub – Click Here:
  • Trauma Response Network Ireland – Call 01 9025020 or email
  • Connect a Coach –
  • Aware are operating their freephone support line, email support and online Life Skills programme.
    1800 804 848 (7 days a week from 10 AM – 10 PM)
  • BeLonG To will continue their Crisis Counselling Services and provide them digitally.
    All current clients are being contacted directly.
  • The Cork Counselling Service is offering counselling and crisis support by phone to Cork City and County during business hours. 083 077 7998 Click Here:
  • Helplink provide free/low cost online counselling and therapy 7 days a week including free counselling for people laid off by crisis, people with addictions, people returning home and the Irish stuck or living abroad.Click Here:
  • HSE 24/7 Mental Health Information Line.
    1800 111 888
  • HSE Mental Health Supports and Services During COVID-19 webpage Click Here:
  • HSE Your Mental Health website.  Click Here:
  • The Irish Association for Counselling and Psychotherapy is the largest professional body of counsellors/ psychotherapists in Ireland . Click Here:
  • The Irish Online Counselling and Psychotherapy Service offer an experienced service to anyone experiencing difficulties via instant chat, telephone 086 070 9843 Email:  Video: Click Here:


RSCI Conversations that Matter Series Thursday 28th May .The courage of Compassion in the Crisis.

This webinar was excellent, and I thoroughly recommend that you listen to this . Professor Michael West  with a background in leadership in the UK ,  gives an overview of the effects of this pandemic on health care staff and the learnings we can bring forward .I have included a summary below :

HSCPs have collaborated and been extremely innovative  in their response to this pandemic . HSCPs have changed the way they have worked, and people have not been constrained by job titles . Clinical leadership has developed  with the elimination of hierarchy which has facilitated an appropriate and timely response to this pandemic. Professor West commented on the extraordinary growth of teamwork in healthcare services . There has been a strong focus on communication and learning at speed . There has been a focus on stepping back continually to re-group  and respond to what is happening on the ground . There is an enormous gratitude in the wider community to health care staff .There have been very dark times during and before this pandemic in healthcare services. The health services were at breaking point in the UK. This  pandemic added to this pressure .In the darkest times Professor West stated that  light can come streaming in . Now Professor West believes is the moment for the light to come in .We need  to transform our services for now and the future . Professor West emphasised three important themes the importance of compassion , collaboration and teamwork and reflection and learning . What has emerged now  is a compassionate response from the public to health care staff.

Compassion is a core value of healthcare organisations and an important intervention . “Cancer  Patients assigned to compassionate care service  can survive 30% longer “. Compassionate health care costs less and provides high quality care. If we want to develop and improve the service leaders must model compassion . The interprofessional working and support for each other is very evident during the pandemic .

Taking time out to reflect  and review is important for individuals to grow and develop in their roles  .Reflection facilitates a space for HSCPs to decompress and mull over their key learning points .Teams that take time  out to review to adapt and change on a regular basis are between 35% and 40% more productive, Organisations that have a commitment to reflection  and learning are much more innovative


Resource Pack: Stress Management European Safety & Health at Work

Bringing Policy to Practice – Resource Pack

The HSE recognises that its employees are its most important asset in the delivery of high-quality health and social services and at its core are the values: “Care, Compassion, Trust and Learning”. The management of safety, health and welfare is of fundamental importance in upholding these values Click here:

A Guide to Understanding and Coping with Compassion Fatigue

This is an excellent resource on Compassion Fatigue and very time to include at this time. Please see link to the Guide here

Radiotherapy and Oncology

Professional quality of life and burnout amongst radiation oncologists’ impact of alexthymia and empathy Different factors may influence the professional quality of life of oncology professionals. Among them, personality traits, as alexithymia and empathy, are under investigated. Alexithymia is about deficits in emotion processing and awareness. Empathy is the ability to understand another’s ‘state of mind’/emotion. The PROject on Burnout in Radiation Oncology (PRO BONO) assesses professional quality of life, including burnout, in the field of radiation oncology and investigates alexithymia and empathy as contributing factors Click here:

Supports for health care workers :

Stress Control Programme

The Stress Control programme is being ran again

Programme to help with stress control available online to staff from today, 13 April, via

Watch Dr. Christina Corbett, HSE Senior Clinical Psychologist, introducing the HSE Stress Control Online Programme

Stress Control is an evidenced based programme that teaches you practical skills to deal with stress. Please also note the Healthcare Worker Helpline 1850 420 420.

The programme covers topics including:

  • how stress affects our bodies and our thoughts,
  • skills to overcome panicky feelings,
  • and tips to getting a good night’s sleep.

This programme includes six modules which will be broadcast at scheduled times for 3 weeks (2pm and 8.30pm Mondays and Thursday).

Go to and subscribe at no cost to the YouTube channel so you will be updated when the next module will be broadcast.

At this very challenging time Stress Control is a proven and effective way to improve mental wellbeing for staff and the public. You may wish to share the information about this programme with your family and friends to encourage their participation

 RSCI Conversations that Matter

Organisations that take care of their staff in Covid-19

Excellent webinar discussing the importance of supporting all healthcare staff during Covid-19 . Health care workers are fearful of catching Covid-19 of taking it home to their families. Also, there are issues for staff who have contracted Covid-19 returning to work . The webinar discusses the Psychology support service set up in Tallaght University Hospital which perraes a zoom counselling staff for 10-40 mimtues sessions. They also offer resilience training .

COVID Trauma Response Working Group Clinical Guidance  UK Psychological First Aid

Psychological First Aid is referred to in the RSCI conversation that matter as the tool they used in Tallaght to spout their staff .

This guidance provides a summary of how to use Psychological First Aid. This guidance is aimed at providing information for untrained staff on how to operate within Psychological First Aid Framework and may also be helpful to staff already trained in Psychological First Aid. This guidance is not intended to be a formal training manual and we recognise that this guidance is not a replacement for formal training in Psychological First Aid.

During the acute phase of the COVID-19 pandemic we recognise that many people may face very stressful experiences. Some people including, for example, frontline health and social care staff, whilst extremely resilient, may at times feel overwhelmed and distressed. However, there is a need for them to continue to function at a high level. Staff may be unable to take the time they need to fully express their emotions and process their experiences. Rather, they are expected to go back into their demanding and high-pressure roles Click here:

Factors Associated with Mental Health Outcomes Among Health Care Workers Exposed to Coronavirus Disease 2019

Facing this critical situation, health care workers on the front line who are directly involved in the diagnosis, treatment, and care of patients with COVID-19 are at risk of developing psychological distress and other mental health symptoms. The ever-increasing number of confirmed and suspected cases, overwhelming workload, depletion of personal protection equipment, widespread media coverage, lack of specific drugs, and feelings of being inadequately supported may all contribute to the mental burden of these health care workers Click Here:


UNICEF is working with health experts around the clock to provide tips and guidance for families on everything from how to talk to children about COVID-19, to how to wash your hands properly, to advice for teenagers on how to protect their mental health.

Click here:

Parenting helpful tips

Here is how we can maintain control and manage our anger, so we do not hurt others.

Brain science shows if you control your anger or do something positive you increase your child’s brain development. That’s real success!

Click here:

How teenagers can protect their mental health during coronavirus (COVID-19)

6 strategies for teens facing a new (temporary) normal.

I included mental health supports for teenagers as it’s very challenging for this age group coping with the new way of life.

Supports for health care workers :

Self-Care Handbook “Mind your mind on the Frontline”

Anxiety, fear and panic is a common experience amongst frontline and healthcare staff during this time. This handbook seeks to provide practical advice and resources to support the well-being of staff, during each psychological, response phase to COVID-19. The psychological response phases are namely, (1) The Preparation Phase, (2) The Active Phase, and (3) The Recovery Phase.   Self-care is a necessity to protect healthcare workers and build resilience in the face of psychological adversity. Selfcare, for frontline and health care workers, can be complex and challenging, given, that many individuals in these roles are used to prioritising the needs of others, over their own needs.

Click Here:

Cultivation self -compassion in a crisis

Compassion is the cornerstone of healthcare work. It is a fundamental component of the care provided by healthcare workers, coupled with devotion and hope against disease and despair. On a typical day, tending to the physical and emotional needs of others involves risks of emotional exhaustion and burnout. In the depths of a global pandemic, these risks are significantly heightened.

Some helpful tips in this article :

Become more aware of your emotions at this time, meeting them with acceptance and acknowledgement, allowing them to be felt and processed

Refrain from self-judgement or criticism, try to recognise when the inner critic is active and catch these thoughts and become aware of them

Expect and accept a range of emotional and physical responses to this situation, from heightened sensitivity or irritability to fatigue

Ask yourself how you would respond to a friend who was having a similar thought or experience to you. What would they need to hear? How would you convey compassion and understanding to them?

Take each day at a time, trying to be present in the here and now as much as possible, particularly during moments of rest and leisure

Have patience with yourself, recognise your limits and set boundaries with others

Engage only in things that bring you a sense of comfort at this time – ensure your free time is spent fulfilling your own individual needs and avoid comparison with others

Link to article Click here:

PCI College Supports

If unaddressed, uncertainty can cause us to experience helplessness and anxiety. However, there are things you can do to shift your reaction and learn to sit with it more peacefully.

Check out more on what you can do that by: Clicking here and also check out our videos on #PCITalks as every week we are sharing with you some advice to help us through this lockdown together!

Survey Resilience of Healthcare Workers during the Covid-19 pandemic

My name is Robert Maweni, I’m an Ear, Nose & Throat Surgery Registrar at the Great Western Hospital in Swindon, United Kingdom. I’m part of a group of international doctors and psychologist who are looking to investigate the Resilience of Healthcare Workers during the Covid-19 pandemic.

In order to do this, we have put together a 7-minute survey which uses validated psychological scales to ascertain levels of this and related factors.

We would greatly appreciate your assistance in the form of disseminating the survey link to your members organisation members. There is further information for participants in the link itself, enabling them to make an informed decision on whether or not to participate.

Here is the link: Click Here:

 Podcast Staying positive in lockdown How to manage your mental health and learn resilience

In this episode: James Lucey, clinical professor of psychiatry at TCD and a consultant psychiatrist at St. Patrick’s University Hospital joins Nadine O‘Regan to discuss lockdown coping strategies.

Read More:

Death and Loss ELFH

This brief session aims to highlight some key important tips and points in dealing with death and loss. It then points users to the existing materials on the rest of the portal.

Click Here:

Advice / support when someone you care about is dying

Supports for health care workers :

 Special COVID-19 Webinar | Maintaining Staff Safety & Morale 30th April

As a result of the COVID-19 pandemic, radiology departments around the globe are working diligently to prepare and find solutions to safely image their patients while protecting their staff.

For those in charge of these radiology departments, an even more complex matter exists.  Keeping staff morale high while ensuring their protection against the virus with an ample supply of Personal Protection Equipment Click Here

Guide to a Good Night’s Sleep during Tough Times

If you’ve found yourself tossing and turning at bedtime lately, you’re certainly not alone.

With Covid-19 bringing the world into unchartered waters so suddenly and with life as we know it, along with our daily routines, being turned upside-down, it’s to be expected that many of us are having trouble sleeping lately.

We may be facing the uncertainty of job loss, and fears for the health of loved ones. We may be leaning on unhealthy coping mechanisms like alcohol to manage our anxiety levels or be caught up in scrolling unsettling news before bedtime.

In fact, getting between 7 – 9 hours helps us to:

  • Mind our mental and physical health
  • Cope better and regulate our emotions
  • Concentrate and motivate ourselves.

Sleeping during tough times, Click here:

 Mental Health Ireland Pack

We will get through this together. It’s important for us to reassure ourselves and each other of this. The Covid-19 situation can challenge our mental health, but we can rest assured that the supports we need are still there. The way we access these supports may require a temporary adjustment. We might need to put extra effort into looking after our mental health for a while. But we will get through this together. Right now, it is important for us to remember to connect, communicate and reassure.

Although things seem out of control there is so much still within our control. Have a look at our video on how routine can support our mental health.

Download our  Routine Chart Click Here:

Download the Connect, Communicate & Reassure Resource Pack

5 Ways for  Tough Times

These helpful posters can be downloaded and printed for staff notice boards as another helpful resource at this difficult time. Click Here:

The Five Ways to Wellbeing video  are simple actions to practice each day to maintain or improve our mental health and wellbeing. The New Economics Foundation developed the set of evidence-based actions in 2008. The project examined research from across the world on proven actions that can help us to feel good and function well.

  • Small improvements in wellbeing can increase our ability to lead a more fulfilling life.
  • Each action in the Five Ways to Wellbeing can make a positive difference to your life.
  • The Five Ways to Wellbeing are free and easy to incorporate into your life.
  • You are probably doing some of these actions already without being aware of it.
  • To get the most from the Five Ways to Wellbeing, try to combine all of them on a daily

 5 ways to wellbeing video

Resilience Webinar April 29th at 12pm

Learn how you can perform better when exposed to pressure and face challenges when it matters most.

Join us for our free webinar on April 29th at 12pm by clicking below. It’s completely free

This 2-hour webinar will cover:

  • What is Resilience
  • Resilience in a VUCA & Post Pandemic World
  • The Change & Loss Curve
  • The Stress & Recovery Cycle
  • Your Resilience Bank Account
  • The Benefits Resilience & Consequences of Low Resilience

Click Here

Stress management: free relaxation exercises

Nikki Fitzpatrick OT are  delighted to bring you a selection of recorded relaxation exercises created by Nikki Fitzpatrick OT and shared free of charge with AOTI members. Practicing regular mindful breathing is very calming and energising. It assists greatly with alleviating stress.

Use these recordings to help you take a moment of calm, to relax the mind and body and build strength and focus.

  1. Beach meditation
  2. Being with the breath
  3. Body Scan
  4. Calm before a meeting
  5. Deep relaxation with water
  6. Ergonomic body scan


Each week, Atlantic Fellow FIONNUALA SWEENEY speaks to PROFESSOR IAN ROBERTSON, neuroscientist and Co-director of the Global Brain Health Institute at Trinity College, Dublin, about what happens in our brains during times of mental pressure and how we can better cope during this time of collective stress. Listen here: 


Wellbeing in times of Stress TCD

 The Five Ways to Wellbeing video  are simple actions to practice each day to maintain or improve our mental health and wellbeing. The New Economics Foundation developed the set of evidence-based actions in 2008. The project examined research from across the world on proven actions that can help us to feel good and function well.

 Silver cloud

Silver Cloud are offering free access to the well-being supports for all healthcare workers working within the HSE. Our programs are designed to help you improve and maintain your wellbeing; however, they do not specifically address the COVID-19 crisis. Make sure you follow the government’s guidelines to maintain your health and the health of others during this time. Click Here:

How to create a Wellbeing Plan and other advice and information

I attended the IIRRT HSE CPD funded Self -care course and we were advised to devise a well-being plan . Here is some helpful information to develop a well-being plan to help you cope during this pandemic A Physical and Mental Wellbeing Plan can be downloaded here:

The 30-3-30 approach (Activities for 30 secs, 3 mins, 30 mins) 

Some ideas for your wellbeing plan . This can be used for anyone right now to help them get through long days or self-isolation, cocooning etc

It’s really important for people who are self-isolating because of coronavirus to look after their mental health and wellbeing as well their physical health. Staying at home and avoiding contact with others as much as possible is essential to limit the risk of catching the virus or spreading it to others.  But for many people, especially if you live alone, social isolation can be a lonely, anxious, scary or depressing time. This leaflet has a few simple tips to help look after our mental well-being. It’s written for people who are self-isolating, or are maybe just feeling isolated, and who don’t have access to the internet and online entertainment or ‘distraction’ options. If you can get online, you can download a copy of this information and get lots more ideas at The 30-3-30 approach The suggestions below are grouped into things that take about 30 seconds, things that you can do in about 3 minutes, and things that might take 30 minutes or longer. The 30 second ones are quick fix ‘emergency’ actions you can do if you suddenly feel panicky, scared or unable to cope. Please see link here to an extensive range of ideas for the 3

The 30-3-30 approach  

Mowlam Healthcare Wellbeing Matters leaflet

Mowlam have produced a wellbeing leaflet which has helpful tips on minding yourself during this time. You are caring for others at work, and at home, during this pandemic crisis, therefore it makes good sense that you look after your physical and mental health

Mowlan Wellbeing Leaflet

Bereavement Support

Loss of a loved one

The loss of a loved one can be difficult and can trigger a dip in your mental health. There is no right or wrong way to experience loss or to grieve. You may experience a wide range of emotions. This is part of coming to terms with a loss or bereavement

Bereavement & Grief Support

Bereavement and Grief support

The COVID-19 pandemic has changed the traditional ways we mark our grief. For the moment, it is not possible to come together and to gather in one location. It is not possible to have a large funeral. It may not be possible to receive the company of those who wish to offer condolences. However, we can support ourselves and each other in different ways.

The Irish Hospice foundation has a leaflet when a loved one dies Click Here:

Over the coming days and weeks, the Irish Hospice Foundation will be developing a suite of materials to inform, support and reassure people as we navigate these uncertain times and find new ways of dealing with death, dying and bereavement.

The resources include:

Grief in the workplace Irish Hospice Foundation

APA Help Centre 

Supporting co-workers after a personal loss Chichester, M et al (2018)

When a colleague returns to work after experiencing the death of someone close, peers are often uncomfortable speaking about the loss. But their response to a bereaved co-worker can significantly impact his or her healing process.1 Even though death is a normal part of life, people need time to adjust to the loss and experience grief. Click Here:

The College of Anaesthesiologists Ireland

Fatigue is a subjective feeling of needing to sleep (CAI). Due to the current immediate response to support healthcare staff during COVID-19 the College of Anaesthesiologists of Ireland with their colleagues in the Association of Anaesthetists have given permission to WHWU to use their Fatigue Pack. This is a support resource for all healthcare staff in relation to managing fatigue and exhaustion. Click Here:

Royal College of Physicians Ireland RCPI

Practical advice for healthcare workers dealing with the Covid-19 pandemic

Here we share 15 practical tips for helping you get through this challenging time  Click Here:

RCPI two  helpful videos to support health and social care professionals

Dr Eva Doherty, Director of Human Factors in Patient Safety, RCSI- Responding to Patients’ Distress and Strong Emotions during Covid-19  Eva discussed the importance of letting  people have their moment  to calm down . Pick out some words that you could use in this difficult conversation.  Dr Eva discussed the importance of addressing patients’ emotions .

Dr Sarah Byrne the psychological impact of stress on doctors during COVID19Most people who are exposed to acute trauma of Covid -19 will experience stress. Most people will recover . In the first phase people will shut down and freeze . Healthcare professionals may not respond negatively to trauma and they are regularly exposed to trauma. Those health care professionals not used to trauma situations ,if you experience  shutdown you need to try take some time off and engage in exercise and gets some rise .

Staffcare leaflet

Crisis Text Line Ireland

To support health care professionals and essential workers who are increasingly putting their lives at risk during the #COVID19 pandemic, we created #ForTheFrontlines to get our support to the heroes of this pandemic.

Text FRONTLINE to 086-1800-280 for support 24/7.

We want to make sure the heroes on the frontline know that when their shift ends, we’re here for you when there might be no one else around. When you’re done saving lives and stocking shelves Crisis Text Line is here to listen to the toll it’s taking and hopefully help ease the burden.

Stress is a normal reaction to the rapidly changing and uncertain times we are all living in at the moment. If you are feeling a bit more stressed than usual and would like to learn some great ways, free-of-charge, to deal with common problems like anxiety, depression, panicky feelings, poor sleep and poor wellbeing then come along to our online Stress Control class.

Stress Control

‘Stress Control’ is a six-session cognitive-behavioural therapy class used extensively in community-settings by the NHS (UK) and HSE (Ireland) and across the world. You can find out more here:  

As you can’t come to a regular Stress Control class due to the current circumstances, Stress Control will come to you and live stream the sessions.  Each session will play twice a day (at 2pm and repeated at 8.30 pm) on Mondays and Thursdays beginning on the 13th April (Session 1 will also repeat on Tuesday 14th). The sessions will be led by Dr Jim White, consultant clinical psychologist, who created the class and who has taught most of the NHS (UK) and HSE (Ireland) trainers who would normally be running classes across the country.

To take part:

  • Go to where you can learn more about the class and get the dates. Everything you need to successfully complete the class – the booklets, self-assessment, relaxation and mindfulness – can be found in the ‘Free zone’. If you can, please read, and start working on, the booklets in the ‘Preparing for the course’ section before Session 1.
  • On the homepage, click on the ‘Stress Control 2020’ link to access our YouTube channel where the classes will be available to view at the scheduled times. If you click the ‘Subscribe’ button on our YouTube page (free), you will receive notifications when a new session is available. You can also follow the link, Click Here:
  • The session will begin exactly on time, so make sure you are there from the start. Sessions run for about 90 minutes and there will be a 10-minute break in the middle.
  • Each session is one piece of the jigsaw in tackling your Stress. By coming to each class, the jigsaw will form, and the big picture can emerge, making you better able to handle your stress. This is cognitive-behavioural therapy so it is crucial you practice the skills you will learn between sessions.

Life is very hard for us just now and there are no easy solutions or magic cures, but, with hard work and determination, we can boost our resilience to cope with these difficult times and come out the other end stronger. Please pass this on to anyone who you think might benefit from the class.

Well–being posters/EAP supports

College of Psychiatrists of Ireland

This link is a poster created by “work well”  on  where health care workers seek for advice & support on COVID-19

Work Well Poster

Covid-19 – Psychological Survival

Society of Radiographers UK (SoR)

The SoR have developed posters to display in your Radiology RT departments

1.Tips on reducing anxiety Click Here:

2.How are you feeling Click Here:

A selection of open access , supportive resources and tools Click Here:

Support the Workers

The Workers collective is an international group of experts in disaster response, crisis psychology, high pressure decision-making and human performance and health under conditions of extreme stress. We were tasked by those involved in responding to the covid-19 pandemic in the UK to develop a rapid evidence-based training and support curriculum for staff providing psychosocial support to frontline workers.

We are sharing the materials we have produced in case they are useful to others in the UK and around the world. Click Here:

British Psychological Society BPS

Protecting  the Psychological needs of Healthcare staff

This is a guide for leaders and managers of healthcare services who will need to consider the wellbeing needs of all healthcare staff (clinical and non-clinical) as a result of the Coronavirus outbreak. It offers practical recommendations for how to respond at individual, management and organisational level involving the appropriate utilisation of expertise within their practitioner psychologist and mental health professionals and anticipates the psychological reactions over time, and what people may need to recovery psychologically from this. Read More:

BPS have put together general resources and links to help deal with the effects to Covid-19 pandemic W

BPS Resources

The BPS has a number of resources and advice for the following list of topics:


Any decisions about the care and support provided for older people in response to the current situation with Covid-19 require careful consideration of many factors, not just chronological age.  The older population is a heterogeneous group with varying levels of vulnerability and resources. We welcome that the government has recommended people stay at home based on existing medical conditions rather than just chronological age. The self-isolation of members of the older population is likely to result in higher levels of mental distress and loneliness in this population, which requires attention alongside slowing the spread of the virus

Psychological impact of the response to the coronavirus/ Covid-19 on older people Click Here:

Academy of Medical Royal Colleges

Psychological First Aid – Look. Listen. Link

Psychological First Aid (PFA) is an internationally recognised framework that you might find helpful in supporting others. It involves offering  supportive and practical help to others through compassionate listening,

  • Providing practical care and support where necessary
  • Helping people address basic needs and concerns
  • Helping people connect to information, services and social supports
  • Comforting people and helping them to feel calm
  • Reducing distress and fostering adaptive coping
  • Protecting people from further harm.

It is NOT,

  • Something that everybody affected by the COVID-19 pandemic will need
  • Counselling
  • “Psychological debriefing” in that it does not involve a detailed discussion of the events that caused the distress
  • Asking a person to analyse their situation
  • About pressurising a person to talk about their feelings
  • Something that only professionals can do.

To support colleagues using basic PFA principles, you should:


  • Look out for each other and regularly check-in with colleagues
  • Check for colleagues with obvious urgent basic needs such as food, hydration and rest
  • Check for colleagues with distress reactions e.g. a colleague who is normally upbeat but has suddenly gone quiet, is upset, angry or tearful


  • Respectfully approach those who may need support
  • Ask about their needs and concerns
  • Listen to them and try to help them to feel calm.


  • Where possible help colleagues address basic needs and access services
  • Give information about where they can get support
  • Connect colleagues remotely with loved ones and social support.

Covid-19 Mental Wellbeing

Helen Salisbury: Fear in the time of covid

Managing mental health challenges faced by healthcare workers during covid-19 pandemic

Neil Greenberg and colleagues set out measures that healthcare managers need to put in place to protect the mental health of healthcare staff having to make morally challenging decisions

The covid-19 pandemic is likely to put healthcare professionals across the world in an unprecedented situation, having to make impossible decisions and work under extreme pressures. These decisions may include how to allocate scant resources to equally needy patients, how to balance their own physical and mental healthcare needs with those of patients, how to align their desire and duty to patients with those to family and friends, and how to provide care for all severely unwell patients with constrained or inadequate resources. This may cause some to experience moral injury or mental health problems.


Key mental health and psychosocial support considerations

This briefing note summarises key mental health and psychosocial support (MHPSS) considerations in relation to the 2019 novel coronavirus (COVID-19) outbreak. MHPSS

This is an excellent resource and provides useful help for the following groups :

  • Helping older people cope with stress during Covid-19 outbreak
  • Supporting the needs of people with disabilities during Covid-19 outbreak
  • Messages Activities for helping with children deal with stress during the Covid-19 outbreak
  • MHSS activities for adults in isolation/quarantine
  • Supporting people working in the Covid-19 response
  • Messages for the general public with dealing with the stress of Covid-19 outbreak

key mental health and psychosocial support

 Supporting colleagues during covid-19: the intensive care consultant

Emma Wheatley, an intensive care medicine and anaesthesia consultant in Bolton, tells Adrian O’Dowd why it’s important to support colleagues so they can perform at their peak BMJ 2020; 369 doi:


Protect our healthcare workers

For healthcare staff at the front line of the covid-19 pandemic, work has suddenly become a frightening place. Impossible decisions threaten long term psychological damage from moral injury, say Neil Greenberg and colleagues (doi:10.1136/bmj.m1211). And there is real and justified fear about personal safety, fuelled by a scandalous and widespread lack of personal protective equipment (PPE). Doctors have been reduced to sourcing improvised eye protection, making public appeals for respirator masks, and fundraising for supplies (doi:10.1136/bmj.m1286).

BMJ 2020; 369 doi: 


Understanding and Addressing Sources of Anxiety Among Health Care Professionals During the COVID-19 Pandemic

Read More: