Many of us have friends and family who are frontline health care workers and being there for them in such trying times is critical. Here is some advice from Shepell* on how we can all support those who are working to keep us safe.
- Follow government advice. The most important thing that we can do to support workers who are saving lives and keeping people safe is to ensure we’re taking the necessary steps to help slow the spread of the virus.
- Stay connected. Many health care workers are having to stay away from loved ones who have underlying conditions which make them more susceptible to COVID-19. Try to stay in touch by phone or video call on a regular basis.
- Listen and share their burden. Health care workers may often feel the need to internalize the pressures of their job and ignore the impact it has on their lives. While understandable, this is not good for their mental well-being. Talking helps, so ask them about their day and the pressures they are under. You are not there to solve their problems but by listening and empathizing, you will be sharing their burden.
- Nourish their body and spirits. Putting in long hours under intense pressure takes a considerable physical toll. Remind your loved one to get enough rest and eat healthy meals to keep their immune system strong. Exercise is also important for helping people to switch off and rejuvenate their spirits—so help them find time for a walk, run, bicycle ride, or suggest some yoga or meditation.
- Help them maintain perspective. Being on the frontline gives health care workers additional insight into the impact of COVID-19. This can be overwhelming, so help your loved one maintain perspective. Remind them that, while not everyone can be saved, they are doing their best and that is all anyone can ask of them.
- Recognize the added roles many health care workers have taken on. With hospital or retirement home visitation restrictions, medical personnel has the added responsibility of providing the support that family and friends would normally provide. Remind your loved one that the patient’s family is grateful that you are there when they could not be.
Showing support and compassion toward frontlines health care workers can make a difference as we all do our part to get through this pandemic.
In times like these, it’s important to remember that your CDSPI Members’ Assistance Program (MAP) is here for you and your family members. You can reach out at any time for counselling and advice on coping during this crisis at 1.844.578.4040 or visit workhealthlife.com
*This information is provided by Shepell, the largest Canadian-based Employee and Family Assistance provider in the country and the provider of CDSPI’s Members’ Assistance Program (MAP). In addition to their health and wellness services, Shepell offers many helpful articles for small business owners at workhealthlife.com We encourage you to visit the website for more information. Available services vary by region. Use of MAP services is completely confidential within the limits of the law.