Recommendations for healthcare workers on mental health care during the COVID-19 outbreak


1. Healthcare workers are currently gaining experience that is stressful. Therefore it is quite normal to be feeling stress in the current situation. Stress and the feelings associated with it are not a reflection of your weakness. Managing your mental health during this time is as important as managing your physical health.


2. Observe and try to meet your basic needs and use constructive stress coping strategies: ensuring sufficient rest during work or between shifts, eat healthy food, be physically active and stay in contact with family members and friends. Avoid using unhelpful coping strategies: tobacco, alcohol that in the long term, can worsen your mental and physical condition. The COVID-19 outbreak is a unique and unprecedented experience for many health care workers, particularly if they have not been involved in similar responses. Even so, using strategies that have worked for you in the past to manage times of stress can benefit you now.


3. Some of you may experience avoidance by your family or community owing to stigma or fear. This can make an already challenging situation far more difficult. If possible, staying connected with your loved ones, including through digital methods, is one way to maintain contact. Turn to your colleagues, your manager or other trusted persons for social support – your colleagues may be having similar experiences to you and supporting each other will help you feel better.


4. Use understandable ways to share messages with people with intellectual, cognitive and psychosocial disabilities. If you are the head of healthcare organization, include forms of communication that do not rely solely on written information.