Facing bereavement at any time is difficult both personally and professionally. It is even more difficult in our current environment of incredibly high demands, with little to no down time, social distancing and a steady stream of anxiety-provoking media. Members of our teams will have family, friends and colleagues in critical care, with some recovering and others not.
It is also recognised that healthcare professionals are more prone to stress and professional burnout given their responsibility for patient care, especially during times of immense pressure in the workplace. In this current COVID-19 pandemic, NHS staff are working under continuous pressure in situations that may feel unsafe, they may be working longer hours and having less contact with friends and family.
These situations can have an impact on our mental health and it’s important that we put the appropriate support in place to ensure that staff are supported in the sad instance that they are affected by a death, including from COVID-19 or by suicide.
Losing someone close to us, be that a colleague or a family member or friend, can be devastating. The emotions relating to grief can also emerge without bereavement, in periods of significant change as we are in now. We know we will see many colleagues suffering the aftermath of traumatic experiences over the coming months.
It’s important line managers and leaders receive support as well. Remember, it’s ok to ask for help!
The support offer is here for you too.