Care workers and other key staff at the forefront of the national coronavirus response in England are being offered training in ‘psychological first aid’ to help them take care of their own mental wellbeing and that of their clients and patients during the pandemic.
The free online course, developed by Public Health England, is now available to frontline workers and volunteers dealing with the public during the coronavirus pandemic.
It is designed to enable responders to develop their skills and confidence in providing key psychological support to people affected by coronavirus, including on issues such as job worries, bereavement or isolation.
In addition, the course will also help staff to develop an understanding of how emergencies such as Covid-19 can affect the nation, how to recognise people who may be at increased risk of distress and what to do about it.
Announcing the new course, Minister for Mental Health, Nadine Dorries said: “Supporting each other’s mental health and wellbeing is more important than ever during these challenging and uncertain times. Staff and volunteers in many different roles are working tirelessly to provide crucial support at this time and are often a critical touchpoint in identifying those who may be affected.
“This new training course will help to support the incredible work of frontline workers to support those most in need both through the coronavirus outbreak and beyond, equipping them with vital tools to deliver psychological first aid.”
Psychological First Aid is being used world-wide to support those in need of mental and wellbeing support in emergency situations and the World Health Organisation and United Nations are supporting its use in response to coronavirus.
Yvonne Doyle, Medical Director at Public Health England, said the pandemic has had a “profound impact on all of our daily lives” and none more so than our frontline workers who are seeing the effects of the outbreak first hand.
“Our training course aims to provide frontline staff and volunteers with additional resources on how to take care of their own mental health and wellbeing, how to provide support to those who need it most and advice on how to cope with difficult situations,” she said.