May is Mental Health Awareness Month. At New Hope we spend our time focused on the mental health issues of our residents, but now, more than ever, it is important to ensure we are all monitoring and attending to our own psychological well-being. It has been said by many that to be effective in caring for others, one must take care of her/his individual needs, too.
This link provides specific recommendations for healthcare workers in settings battling Covid-19 (https://www.ama-assn.org/delivering-care/public-health/managing-mental-health-during-covid-19). It is a short article with pointed strategies for helping healthcare workers help themselves.
New Hope is supporting our staff in the following ways:
- We have developed a Covid-19 preparedness and response plan that we have used a variety of methods (1:1, posted memos, emails, shift change meetings, departmental meetings) to educate and re-educate staff and residents.
- We are taking questions and deploying an FAQ to all employees with frequent updates.
- We have directly reached out to individual staff who have voiced concern about active Covid-19 cases to thoughtfully answer their questions.
- We have encouraged leaders/supervisors to have more frequent communication with supervisees to offer support and guidance.
- We have provided special/incentive pay to employees to validate the hard work they are doing.
- We have gone to great lengths to ensure proper supplies of PPEs despite a national shortage and vendors gouging customers on pricing.
- We opened up telemedicine enrollment in April 2020.
- We continue to offer EAP services. 800.252.4555 / www.theEAP.com/HealthCare-EAP
- We continue to conduct orientation classes to bolster our ranks and have been exploring temp employee contracts.
- We created and deployed an exempt employee on-call list to assist with filling schedule holes.
While these strategies do not mitigate all of the stress on our workforce, we are truly working hard to do our best. Again, a huge thank you to all of our staff for continuing to do our vision driven work.