New guide outlines approach on how healthcare workers and organizations can handle PTSD
The Centre of Excellence on Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD), a Canadian organization which aims to improve military and veteran mental health, has released a new guide in partnership with Phoenix Australia.
The guide, entitled ‘Moral Stress Amongst Healthcare Workers During COVID-19: A Guide to Moral Injury’ aims to help healthcare and essential workers handle stress caused by the current pandemic. Recognizing that such workers have been under a considerable amount of stress since the start of the pandemic, the guide will help tackle the issue of “moral injury”, which it defines as the “psychological, social, and spiritual impact of events involving betrayal or transgression of one’s own deeply held moral beliefs and values occurring in high-stake situations” (definition coined by J. Shay in Achilles in Vietnam: Combat Trauma and the Undoing of Character).
“The COVID-19 pandemic is causing intense physical and mental stress for today's health care workers. They are dealing with feelings of guilt and shame: guilt when they triage which patients receive treatment; shame because they think they're not providing optimum care for all their patients when, in fact, they are giving the best care possible under the circumstances. On top of this, they're worried they too will become infected and in turn infect loved ones.” Says Dr. Patrick Smith, CEO of the Canadian Centre of Excellence on PTSD.
The guide is designed to provide a framework for handling “moral injury” at an organizational level, at a team level and on an individual level. The guide is available here, and is available in both French and English.
The Centre of Excellence on PTSD and Related Mental Health Conditions was founded by Veterans Affairs Canada (VAC). From its inception, $17.5 million will be dedicated to the Centre of Excellence on PTSD over four years to increase knowledge of mental health issues faced by Veterans and the Canadian Armed Forces (CAF).
The Centre of Excellence operates within a network of already established Canadian mental health clinical and research networks and has also created its own network covering military and Veteran health.
Phoenix Australia, a centre for post-traumatic mental health provides research and different treatment approaches for those looking to improve their understanding and management of workplace mental stress. Phoenix Australia provides various training programs, for more information you can click here.