Did you know that healthcare workers have a higher risk of mental health problems, including a greater risk of suicide and self-harm behaviours, than the general population?
Healthcare workers are vulnerable to developing trauma or stress-related disorders in addition to other mental health conditions, particularly during large-scale disease outbreaks such as what was experienced the past two years.
A national survey of nearly 10,000 healthcare workers led by Monash University and Royal Melbourne Hospital (RMH) during the pandemic has revealed the significant emotional consequences of working in a health system under stress. The survey found that:
- almost 60% reported moral distress due to lack of resources
- more than 30% were distressed by PPE limiting their ability to care for patients
- more than 60% felt that excluding family from seeing patients went against their values
- 55% were worried they would let their colleagues down if they became infected with covid-19.
Importantly, these triggers were associated with mental health outcomes such as burn-out, PTSD, emotional exhaustion, and anxiety.
Initiatives that provide ongoing support are needed to ensure that healthcare workers remain physically and mentally healthy and can continue their invaluable work.
This is why Healthcare Heartbeat was launched. Working with Australian healthcare professionals since 2005 through World Youth International and Nurses In Action has given us the insight into the sector and the challenges that healthcare workers face daily.
Healthcare heartbeat brings together a range of essential services to improve the mental health and wellbeing of healthcare workers and first responders.
Healthcare Heartbeat delivers a 7-week mental fitness online coaching program that includes convenient meal delivery during the program, online coaching with peer support which promotes camaraderie and removes stigma, and access to a positive intelligence app.
Tailored specifically for healthcare workers, the Mental Fitness Program facilitated by Finnbell Consulting, is designed to transform participant’s mindsets. Achieving optimal outcomes for patients requires healthcare workers to function at the highest level of health, both physically and psychologically. Upon completion of the Mental Fitness Program, participants will be able to implement some of the learnt strategies into their professional and personal lives. They will experience reduced anxiety and depression, and develop skills and techniques to better manage workplace stress, negative emotions, conflict, and communication breakdowns.
The flow on effects of strengthening a healthcare worker’s mental health is that it can also improve the quality of patient care they deliver and encourages increased innovation and collaboration, which supports the wider community.
What we know is that mental health issues are causing healthcare workers to leave the workforce. There is an estimated projected shortfall of 18 million health workers by 2030. We believe Healthcare Heartbeat will help create more resilient and happier healthcare workers and invite you to be part of it.
Register your interest in sponsoring Healthcare Heartbeat here.
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