Our NHS People

Why this matters now

In the influential BMJ article, Managing the mental health challenges faced by healthcare workers during the COVID-19 pandemic, the authors highlight the positive role managers and supervisors can play in protecting staff wellbeing.

In relation to the recovery phase, they note:

“… once the ‘battle’ has been won, supervisors should ensure that time is made to reflect on and learn from the extraordinarily difficult experiences to create a meaningful, rather than traumatic, narrative.”

While there is encouragement here, it is important to acknowledge that many managers may feel uncomfortable at the prospect of having conversations with people they know or suspect have had traumatic experiences.   

This brief guide outlines how managers might approach this kind of conversation.  It focuses on 1:1 dialogue rather than a group de-brief.