September 22, 2020

Coronavirus: Front-line NHS staff ‘at risk of PTSD’

NHS staff on the front line of the coronavirus pandemic could develop anxiety, burnout, or post-traumatic stress disorder, the BBC has been told.

Psychological first aid should be provided as the UK runs the risk of a “future mental health crisis”, the British Psychological Society said.

Ministers say NHS staff can call a helpline if they are feeling stressed.

But MPs say this is not enough and that the government should provide extra support to those feeling overwhelmed.

The cross-party group says any support should be extended to all front-line staff such as care home staff, mortuary workers and cleaners.

In a letter, MPs call for management in front-line organisations to put in place preventative measures like regular breaks, encouraging people to look after themselves and to tell people that it is “OK to not be OK”.

The MPs and British Psychological Society also say professional help from psychologists and therapists needs to be easily accessible – so trauma can be dealt with early.

Front-line staff in the coronavirus crisis are routinely exposed to things the general population would never encounter – loss of patients, illness of colleagues, high levels of stress and increased exposure to Covid-19.

Trauma can leave some with insomnia, feeling disorientated, with a sense of guilt or even physical symptoms like shaking, headache, loss of appetite and aches and pains.

Some people could see a deterioration of their mental health or develop anxiety or PTSD.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *