There is widespread recognition that the global pandemic has placed great pressure on the dementia care workforce. Here is a selection of resources to guide and support staff as they navigate these challenges
The Australian Government Department of Health website includes a substantial webpage on Mental Health For The Health Workforce During COVID-19. The resource presents information and ideas on why mental health is important for health workers; getting urgent help; how health workers might be feeling; keeping mentally healthy; support contacts; staying informed; resources; and mental health for patients and carers. To access the resource, go to https://bit.ly/3gTiJZI.
Dementia Training Australia’s (DTA) collection of free online resources now includes a webinar titled Improve Resilience And Wellbeing In The Dementia Care Workplace During COVID-19. The 45-minute session is led by Samuel Eddy (pictured), a workplace wellbeing educator and executive coach, and was conducted in April 2020. Eddy’s presentation explores normal stress versus problematic stress, resilience, and what is known about workplace stress for the dementia care workforce. Eddy introduces participants to three practical tools (one to check your ‘stress temperature’, one exploring the ‘change curve’ during COVID-19, and one exploring wellbeing ‘anchors’ and the importance of daily structure) and also conducts a mindfulness meditation. The session is aimed at anyone working in the dementia care workforce. It is available to access on the DTA website via https://dta.com.au/download-type/video/.
The Black Dog Institute, the research centre affiliated with UNSW Sydney, produces a wide range of resources in relation to mental health – including an app aimed at supporting health professionals during the pandemic, known as TEN: The Essential Network, developed with Federal Government funding announced in May. The app is a one-stop-shop for a wide range of resources to support health professionals, accessed via a screening tool designed to recommend relevant resources and online tools, including links to access professional help. More information is available at www.blackdoginstitute.org.au/ten/. As part of the TEN initiative, the institute’s website now includes a section on Coronavirus Resources For Health Professionals, which contains over a dozen fact sheets on mental health issues related to working in health and aged care during the pandemic, such as Financial Stress And Health Care Workers During COVID-19; Managing Health Anxiety During COVID-19; and Sleep, Fatigue And Stress In Health Care Workers During COVID-19. Access all these resources via this link: https://bit.ly/3hWCj8x.
The Australian Psychological Society has published a four-page information sheet on Frontline Workers And COVID-19: Tips For Coping And Enhancing Resilience During The Pandemic. The resource (pictured) is aimed at frontline police, healthcare and social support workers. It presents information on stress and burnout, suggests strategies for boosting resilience and coping, and also offers tips for some specific situations (such as where frontline workers have a pre-existing mental health or physical health issue, or situations in states and territories where restrictions have eased). The resource includes links to other organisations offering services that may assist frontline workers. Access the resource via this link: https://bit.ly/3bttLDJ.