Pyschosocial Response Group

The HSE is coordinating a Psychosocial Response Project Group to address the impact of the coronavirus pandemic on mental health. It will support the overall wellbeing, resilience and mental health of our population. The psychosocial impact of this pandemic will be different for everyone. Not everyone will need mental health support but a wide range of supports and services are available for those who do.

The focus of this work is to develop a framework for psychosocial structures and responses. This will be for the public and all healthcare workers in line with international best practice and evidence.

Priority groups requiring our particular attention include:

  •  people who have been bereaved during the pandemic
  •  healthcare workers who have worked tirelessly during these times
  •  more vulnerable groups of the general population.

Work to date

A variety of psychosocial response interventions have already been delivered by the HSE and other funded services. There has been a particular focus on providing immediate psychological first aid and bereavement supports so far.  Some people may experience over a longer period of time after the immediate challenge of the crisis has passed. Our plans will, therefore, focus on immediate as well as longer-term needs. 

The Psychosocial Response work has to date:

  •  helped to align and mobilise a support helpline for health service staff,
  •  established dedicated support information on hse.ie
  •  delivered self-directed, innovative online support programmes
  •  enhanced access to therapy and mental health services.

Aim

By bringing together different strands of existing services we will make sure a fully integrated strategic plan in place that can deliver a health sector psychosocial response to Covid-19.

The group will focus specifically on the psychosocial responses needed for the public and health sector staff.

The Public

Members of the public may be exposed to a range of psychological distress due to the ongoing exposure to Covid-19.

The HSE and many of its funded NGO partners have successfully fast-tracked new telehealth options. These include innovative online, text and phone therapeutic supports.

Many of these have been in development for some time, as part of a range of digital mental health initiatives underway in the HSE, and others have been developed specifically in response to Covid-19.

All available supports and services can be found on YourMentalHealth.ie.

Health Sector Staff 

It is likely that health and social care staff across the HSE and related service providers will experience significant distress dealing with the challenges presented by Covid-19. Their mental health and psychological wellbeing is extremely important.

A wide range of support options for healthcare workers can be found on the HSE staff supports page.

Local CHO Psychosocial Supports

In addition to national supports, each local area offers a virtual drop-in clinic for health care workers and adult members of the public who may be feeling stressed or anxious about the impact of COVID-19. The service is confidential and has been set up to offer support on how to cope during this time.

To avail of this clinic, people can email the services in their local area with their phone number and a psychosocial responder will call them back.

CHO1 Donegal, Cavan Monoghan, Sligo and Leitrim CHO1.support@hse.ie
CHO2 Galway, Mayo, Roscommon  Psychosocial.GMR@hse.ie
CHO3 Clare, Limerick and North Tipperary  Staffsupport.cho3@hse.ie
CHO4 Cork, Kerry ckch.covid19selfhelp@hse.ie
CHO5 South Tipperary, Carlow, Kilkenny, Waterford, Wexford SECHPsychResponse@hse.ie
CHO6 Wicklow, Dun Laoghaire, Dublin South East CHEast.selfhelp@hse.ie 
CHO7 Kildare, West Wicklow, Dublin West, Dublin South City, Dublin South West covid19psychosocialsupport.cho7@hse.ie
CHO8 Laois, Offaly, Longford, Westmeath, Louth, Meath MLMpsychosocial@hse.ie
CHO9 Dublin North, Dublin North Central, Dublin West dncc.covid19selfhelp@hse.ie

What Next

The National Psychosocial Response team together with CHOs and our partners are currently mapping current psychosocial supports available. This includes public and healthcare workers across the HSE and other core providers. It will then inform medium and long term psychosocial response planning both at local and national levels.

 A COVID-19 psychosocial framework document is also in preparation. It will outline a multi-layered model of care that will be adopted.

This model of care recognises the need for support across the entire population as well as highlighting supports and services a smaller number of people will want or need to avail of.

 All updates on the project will be posted on this website.