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In times of crisis it is more important than ever to prioritise self-care and mental wellbeing. As the outbreak of COVID-19 impacts our communities, SLTs – like other healthcare workers – will be under significant pressure. The RCSLT has curated a wide range of links and resources to help support its members.

Resources

Emotional resilience helps us cope with change and manage stress. Resilience is also a quality of leadership – resilient people are better able to shape their environment and perceive change in terms of challenge rather than threat. 

The resources in this section and throughout this guidance are provided for informational purposes only. No endorsement is expressed or implied, and while we make every effort to ensure our pages are up-to-date and relevant, we cannot take responsibility for pages maintained by external providers.

Resilience

MindEd COVID-19 staff resilience hub
MindEd have selected the best advice and tips from our large panel of international experts. For all frontline staff created with NHS Health Education England in partnership with NHS England-Improvement, supported by Skills for Care.

Managing your energy
A guide to managing your physical, intellectual, emotional and spiritual energies, from The King's Fund. 

Conversation and action guide to support staff wellbeing and joy in work
Tool from the Institute for Healthcare Improvement, with practical steps to try to enable staff to feel heard, protected, cared for, prepared and supported.

Self-care

Self-care during the COVID-19 pandemic - British Medical Journal
During a period of increased stress and uncertainty it is more important than ever for NHS staff to look after themselves, say Michael Farquhar and Shreena Unadkat.

Support the workers
International experts share materials to support those providing psychosocial support to frontline workers

Mental Health Foundation
Mental Health and Sleep Podcast

Mental Health Foundation
Wellbeing and sleep: quick-fix relaxation exercise

Mental Health Foundation
How sleep and green space can help your mental health

Mental Health Foundation
Sleep Matters: The Impact Of Sleep On Health And Wellbeing

 
Happiful
How to de-stress in 5 simple steps
 
Counselling Directory
Ways to manage Stress
 
Headspace
Tools and resources to look after your mind 
 
Student Wellness Center
Dartmouth College - Relaxation Downloads

Anxiety and mental health

Open to all frontline and essential workers and volunteers.  Explore the psychological impact of the COVID-19 pandemic and what you can do to help people cope. The course will teach you the key principles of giving psychological first aid in emergencies. This course has been produced by Public Health England and is based on international guidance from the World Health Organisation, United Nations and partners.

Mental health during COVID-19
From Health Education and Improvement Wales covering physiological needs, impact on patients, resources and references.

Coronavirus and your wellbeing - MIND
The mental health charity MIND has lots of useful advice about how to manage stress and protect your mental wellbeing.

Coronavirus: How to protect your mental health - BBC

Anxiety: Every mind matters - NHS

Coronavirus anxiety support and resources - AnxietyUK

Look after your mental health during Coronavirus - Council for Intellectual Disability

Headspace for the NHS
Be kind to your mind with free access to Headspace to all NHS clinical and non-clinical staff NHS approved mental health apps to help reduce anxiety surrounding COVID-19

NHS mental health helpline
NHS England have launched a helpline for NHS staff dealing with COVID-19

Mental Health Foundation 
Looking after your mental health during the Coronavirus outbreak

Mental Health Foundation
Look after your mental health and wellbeing when staying at home

Mental Health Foundation
Coming into work where necessary

Mental Health Foundation
Podcasts for your wellbeing

University of California Department of Psychiatry
Resources to support mental health during the COVID-19 Outbreak

Reading Well 
Information and support for managing common mental health conditions, or dealing with difficult feelings and experiences

Aliss (‘A Local Information System for Scotland’) 
Health and wellbeing information for people living in Scotland.   

Samaritans
Mental health during the coronavirus outbreak

Calm 
Free resources to support our emotional wellbeing during this time.

Resources for others (service users, families and carers)

Being out of school with no access to their usual social spaces is likely to be tough for many young people. The BPS advises schools, parents and carers on meeting children’s needs over the coming months

Royal College of Occupational Therapists (RCOT)
Staying well when social distancing

Womens Aid Scotland 
COVID-19 and what it means for women, children and young people experiencing domestic abuse.

Help for domestic abuse
 
For victims and survivors of domestic abuse.

Working from home

Happiful
7 Steps to Successfully Working from Home

Posturite
10 productivity tips for homeworkers 

Webinars and videos

University of California Department of Psychiatry
Free webinars for health care professionals.  To register for these webinars click here.

Neurosequential Network
Freely available videos related to stress, distress and trauma.

Building resilience and managing self-care 

  • Set aside time each day to do something just for you! Try something new or pick up an old hobby, practice relaxation techniques or simply just chill.
  • Foster your interests and hobbies outside of study/work and find something that helps you relax, such as mindfulness, yoga, running, walking or singing.
  • Consider what support you might need in the workplace. Always be honest with your employers about how you’re feeling so that they can help you appropriately.
  • Remember to ask for help when you need it. No-one wants you to fail; asking for help is not a sign of weakness, it is a sign of self-awareness.
  • Try new things and do things that take you out of your comfort zone: don’t be afraid to fail. 
  • Do a perspective check. Ask yourself: how will I feel about this situation in a year? Will it be water under the bridge?
  • Don’t expect to know everything, especially when starting a new post. Be confident in asking for help/guidance from more experienced/senior colleagues.
  • Build positive connections both in and out of work. Social media can be great in helping you to build a professional network of support.

Want more SLT self-care? Check out these top tips from our members.

Podcasts

The RCSLT’s learning team met up with Ruth Williams, Clinical Directorate Lead at iCares, in Sandwell and West Birmingham, to talk about the importance of self-care and resilience; and why it's key to consider what's going on under the surface for others.

Empathy, self-care and resilience, with Ruth Williams, Clinical Directorate Lead 

Adapting to new ways of working

‘Successfully’ working from home (striking the balance)

COVID-19 has forced many SLTs to re-plan their work schedule and to work from home.  Although this has many benefits, it may also present challenges when it comes to maintaining a balance between work and home life.  Here are some tips for finding a balance:

  1. Structure your day as if it were any other working day, e.g. plan in when you will have breaks 
  2. Take a lunch break and enjoy making up something delicious to eat 
  3. During breaks, turn your laptop off or put it to sleep and mute your phone to minimise work distractions
  4. Dress for work (it will help you get in the zone!)
  5. Plan an end of day activity, something which marks the end of the work day and start of the social evening, e.g. walk the dog, read a book, take a bath 

Information for Leaders and Managers: Supporting colleagues when working remotely

When working remotely, there are additional things to factor in when considering how to support the wellbeing of your colleagues. This infographic contains some key considerations that you may find useful. In addition to this, we suggest that you: 

  • adhere to any policies and procedures developed by your organisation; 
  • consult any nationally available guidance and support (e.g. COVID-19 guidance for NHS workforce leaders);
  • work within the boundaries expected by your employer and the HCPC; and 
  • maintain communication with your wider clinical and non-clinical colleagues on a regular basis.  
MindEd  Covid19 staff resilience hub
MindEd have selected the best advice and tips from our large panel of international experts. For all frontline staff created with NHS Health Education England in partnership with NHS England-Improvement, supported by Skills for Care. It includes a section for leaders and managers.

Preparing for and managing redeployment

Preparing for redeployment may feel overwhelming.  For many, it may be the first time they have been in this situation and it may require quick learning of new skills and re-visiting the evidence-base should the client focus change along with the location or setting.  

With redeployment specifically in mind, Dr Ellie Atkins, Chartered Clinical Psychologist (St George's University Hospitals NHS Foundations Trust) has kindly shared her blog posts for RCSLT members to access during this time: