Mental health in the care industry
Working on the front line, Social Care staff face a multitude of challenges which may impact their mental health.
Care workers in the industry have been at increased risk of COVID-19. The risk of infection, together with fear of putting family members at risk, has been linked to increased mental stress in health care workers.
Managing stress and overall wellbeing has become just as important as looking after your physical health. During the pandemic, over half of health care workers reported a worsening in their mental health, with 18-34 year old workers reported to be the hardest hit.
Not recognising when you are stressed and not taking action to manage stress, can have a serious impact on you, the people around you and the people you work with.
How can Social Care workers look after their mental health?
It’s important to find new ways of coping and minimising the impact of increased pressure to ensure yourself and your team can recover from challenges in the work place.
For example, getting into a regular routine of exercising, getting enough sleep and socialising, can give you relief from anxious thoughts and feelings whilst also boosting your mood.
While at work, it’s important to check in with team members regularly. Managers should ensure regular contact with those working remotely; scheduling time for face-to-face contact either in person or via video. Regular contact with colleagues enables managers to check on how their team is coping and gives them the chance to reflect on what issues might be causing stress.
As importantly, we all have a part to play in raising awareness around mental health. Seeking help will benefit your friends, family and colleagues and open the conversation for those who may be struggling.
Top 3 Tips for social care mental health
- Reach out to friends or family. You don’t need to cope alone, by taking the first step and talking to others can help put a problem into perspective and make you feel less isolated.
- Keep active and sociable. Regular exercise can help you concentrate, sleep better and boost self-confidence. Staying in touch with friends can keep you grounded and supported.
- Regularly check in with colleagues. Managers have a responsibility to make sure the workplace is a safe and comfortable space for all. Encourage conversations around mental health with employees.
By implementing these three tips, and continuing to practice them, can help you to look after your mental health. For further advice and guidance, please refer to the resources below.
Mental Health Resources
- GML provides a free stress and resilience course. We support you to understand resilience and take positive action to build your own resilience. We share resources, including recent research suggesting a different approach to how we view and respond to stress. Find out more here: https://greymatterlearning.co.uk/social-care-courses/stress-resilience/
- Skills for Care resilience document available to download here: https://www.workingwellglos.nhs.uk/wp-content/uploads/2019/01/Building-your-own-Personal-Resilience.pdf