A world of difference

Who is looking after the mental health and wellbeing of our healthcare professionals asks Louise Hosking?

When we fall down, when we become ill or need support we look to care professionals who work tirelessly to support the community they serve. But, can their work affect them?

One in four of us will suffer from a mental health illness at some point in our lives which makes it a foreseeable risk.

Managing stress and anxiety is a complex area and not just influenced by work alone. “Thriving at work”, an independent review published in October 2017, made it clear more is expected from employers to look at sickness absence related to mental health and to manage it well – offering the right support.

Healthcare professionals who care for others at the end of their lives need unique support if they are to stay mentally well. We should remember support staff who bond with the people they care for too. It’s important for individuals to access support informally so they feel comfortable to share.

External support is essential too. Healthcare professionals may have to deal with deeply traumatic events which could affect whole teams. In this situation, having an organisation or specialist team available to provide counselling to a number of people at short notice is critical.

If we can prevent mental ill-health we can truly make a difference to individuals, their families and wider networks.

Isn’t it time we all stepped up to look out for the people who are there to care for us too?

To read the full article in Tomorrow’s FM June 2018 please click here

Louise Hosking is Director of Hosking Associates and VP of IOSH