Mindful of the mental health needs of the healthcare workforce, a new initiative aimed at raising awareness, reducing stigma and promoting healthy and health-seeking behaviour in our medical workforce, was launched this May.
The HSE National Office for Suicide Prevention in conjunction with Practitioner Health was delighted to announce and introduce a pilot awareness campaign, I’m Minding Healthcare. It’s applicable to all disciplines - everyone’s wellbeing counts. May is also the month of the national Green Ribbon Campaign. I’m Minding Healthcare reaches into the healthcare sector with some tailored messages and builds on the awareness and efforts already in place through Green Ribbon. A representative range of healthcare facilities in Ireland was chosen on a trial basis and received I’m Minding Healthcare badges and posters this May.
Dr Justin Brophy, Consultant Psychiatrist and Clinical Advisor to the HSE National Office for Suicide Prevention said, “Developing a sense of workplace “belonging” by caring and supporting each other in times of difficulty is how we can continue and improve. Taking some simple steps like offering a listening ear, taking some quality time-out with a colleague or providing some practical day-to-day assistance to others, are great ways ease any strains. Always remember that there are colleagues and dedicated staff available to support others in any workplace setting – sometimes, you just need to take the first step, reach out and make that connection.”
Prof Risteárd Ó’Laoide, Consultant Radiologist, St Vincent’s University Hospital said “Our staff at St Vincent’s University Hospital were delighted to participate in the launch of the I’m Minding Healthcare campaign in association with the HSE National Office for Suicide Prevention. I think this campaign will highlight the important need for healthcare staff to prioritise their own mental health while also encouraging staff to support each other at work. It is vital that healthcare staff in every discipline can get the support they need to look after their own mental health while also being able to actively support patients through difficult and challenging times during their individual treatment plans.”
Working in healthcare can sometimes be demanding and workers can often neglect their own needs, especially the need for a balanced lifestyle and to take positive steps to maintain and protect their health. Greater awareness, greater acknowledgement and greater engagement with improving the health of the healthcare workforce are always to be encouraged.
Download your own I’m Minding Healthcare poster for your workplace or team, here.
Some Practical Tips
- Take the time necessary.
- Ask a colleague for advice and don’t go it alone.
- See your GP and honestly tell them what’s happening your health.
- Students & trainees often have their own networks of support which you should find out about and use.
- Get help from your Employee Assistance Programme.
- Doctors, Dentists and Pharmacists can also contact Practitioner Health on 01 297 0365.
- Don’t give up if you are still struggling.
- Keep looking, keep asking.
- Visit www.yourmentalhealth.ie for information on mental health, services and supports.
- Visit the See Change website for information on other mental health stigma reduction activities.