The Importance of Mental Health & Wellbeing During Covid-19
04 Jun 2020 |
In the midst of the Coronavirus pandemic, our lives have changed drastically in just a few short months. Many of us are now working from home, our children are no longer at school, and we are having to stay home and practice social distancing.
With all this change coupled with the stress of a worldwide pandemic, it’s common to feel overwhelmed, helpless, worried, and anxious. On top of this, you may be concerned about job security, finances, and the health and wellbeing of those close to you. So, understandably, your mental wellbeing might be further impacted.
In a recent report conducted by not-for-profit organisation Benenden Health, from the 2455 UK residents surveyed, over a third [35.9%] indicated their mental health had been negatively impacted due to the COVID-19 pandemic. 1 in 10 people with no prior mental wellbeing issues, were finding they were now experiencing poor mental health.
At Pineapple, we take the time to listen, and understand the importance of mental health. We actively support the mental health charity, MIND, in an effort to help continually improve people’s state of mental health and remove the stigma attached to it.
Essential Workers & Mental Wellbeing
While many of us are forced to stay at home, our country’s essential workers still have to go to work. Working on the frontline also comes with its fair share of additional stress and anxiety. From doctors and nurses to supermarket assistants and bus drivers, many of these employees are juggling work pressures with the need to provide for their families, along with the fear of the virus itself. Not to mention the long shifts and lack of sleep.
A cross-sectional study of 1257 healthcare workers in 34 hospitals equipped with fever clinics or wards for patients with COVID-19 showed that a “considerable” proportion of healthcare workers reported symptoms of depression, anxiety, insomnia, and distress.
Recognising that many health workers are likely to go through additional stress and anxiety, the World Health Organisation (WHO) has developed a series of mental health considerations that can be used in communications to support mental wellbeing. Some of these considerations include:
WHO Messages for Team Leaders in Health Facilities:
- Ensure clear communication and accurate information updates are provided to all staff.
- Rotate workers from higher-stress to lower-stress functions and partner inexperienced workers with more experienced colleagues.
- Initiate, encourage, and monitor work breaks.
- Implement flexible schedules for workers who are directly impacted or have a family member affected by COVID-19.
- Ensure that all staff members are aware of where and how they can access mental health and psychosocial support services and facilitate access to such services.
Ways to Create Safer Working Environments
Alongside offering employees emotional support and structure, companies also need to provide healthy, safe environments to help protect their staff’s physical wellbeing too. Some important steps include:
- Companies and offices need to put up signs, send out emails, and promote and share best hygiene practices wherever they can.
- There should be plenty of hand sanitiser provided in all shared spaces – conference rooms, reception areas, etc.
- Provide employees with a tube of disinfectant wipes for their desks, making it easy for them to clean their hands and wipe down their devices frequently.
- High traffic areas must be disinfected daily––and that includes the fridge and shared appliances such as photocopiers.
- Make sure that your cleaners are doing a deep clean regularly and that they are using NHS approved disinfectant and cleaning products.
- Invest in furniture that is easy to clean, disinfect, and sanitise. At Pineapple, our furniture is mindfully designed for challenging environments.
- Products in our Ryno®, Sovie and Scorpio ranges have undergone extensive laboratory testing for Coronavirus (Munich strain, Feline Coronavirus, also known as Alphacoronavirus 1) and been proved resistant. Treated with anti-microbial technology, our upholstery will not sustain COVID-19, meaning viruses are not able to live on the furniture’s surface.
We hope that these tips help to create safe working environments that support both the mental and physical wellbeing of your staff, patients, clients, and customers. Stay safe and look after yourself and each other.
To find out more about our mental health furniture that features anti-microbial technology that has undergone extensive laboratory surface testing for Coronavirus resistance, please contact us for more information or visit our website.
For further information and updates on COVID-19, visit www.who.int