Public Health Emergency - Leading a Nation Prepared
Your staff and clients may be afraid of returning to the facility for several reasons. Perhaps they are worried about being infected and bringing COVID-19 home to an immune-suppressed family member, or they may be concerned about committing to in-person work without a reliable source of child care in place. Over time, staff absenteeism may become a problem, particularly if PPE shortages continue.
Here are a few ideas to help staff and clients feel more comfortable returning to your facility:
Peer support and training
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The death of a loved one, friend or colleague to COVID-19 is tragic, and grief is a normal response to loss. When faced with grief and the need to maintain work engagement, there are concrete methods that can be helpful in mitigating the impact of grief and creating space to heal. That being said, it takes time to process and heal from loss, so it is important to be patient and recognize emotions and feelings as they arise. Here are ideas to get you started:
For your staff, your clients, and their loved ones, these are incredibly stressful times: loneliness and anxiety are normal responses. Strategies to mitigate the emotional toll of these responses include compassionate communication, social support, self-care, and healthy coping mechanisms. While communicating, listen, be honest in your responses, and reflect back what others tell you.
Check whether your staff and clients are still connected to their normal sources of social support. Do they have the ability to communicate with loved ones virtually? If appropriate, ask about the well-being of those who are close to your staff members or clients. Lastly, identify self-care and coping mechanisms that your staff and clients are already using and explore new ones. There is no ‘one size fits all’ answer for this. Instead, promote and encourage a variety of techniques that people can try out and continue if it fits their emotional and behavioral health needs. These can include journaling, puzzles, mindfulness apps, volunteer projects, etc.
If you have space in your facility, consider creating a “stress-free oasis.” This oasis would be a room designed and designated for relaxation: dimly lit with cozy chairs, stress-reducing scents like lavender, soothing music or nature sounds, plants, and a virtual sunrise or oceans waves projected along one of the walls.
this CDC link to learn more about managing stress and anxiety during the COVID-19 pandemic.
With widespread unemployment, furloughs, and reduced client loads, many people are concerned about their finances right now. The first step is to see whether you are eligible for financial assistance through the
Provider Relief Fund, small business loans, or other programs, such as the National Council for Behavioral Health’s
COVID-19 Relief Fund. Check out the
Benefits.gov COVID-19 Help Center to learn about unemployment assistance, health care, food and nutrition programs, and small business loans. If you are concerned about losing your home, visit the US Department of Housing and Urban Development’s
COVID-19 website for steps
homeowners can take to avoid eviction or foreclosure.
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