Dr Michael Monisse-Redman1, Hyranthi Kavanagh1
1Fiona Stanley Hospital, Murdoch, Australia
During 2020 health services and hospitals were reminded of the importance of managing staff psychological well-being and mental health needs as the COVID-19 Pandemic began to dominate service delivery and the lives of healthcare workers. The sustained influence of a worldwide pandemic on hospitals highlighted the need for organisations to consider programs and interventions that could mitigate the impact felt by frontline healthcare workers. Although a primary concern prior to the current pandemic, the exacerbation of staff distress, stress and workplace demands due to the COVID-19 pandemic brought to the forefront of hospital priorities and focus, an urgent need to improve access to appropriate psychological supports. Given the risk of adverse mental and physical health outcomes in this context, access to evidence-informed early intervention is essential.
Although over the past twelve months various strategies have been implemented with the aim of providing staff with additional knowledge and supports to manage factors increasing pressure on their mental health, the FSFHG executive team acknowledged a need to develop and offer targeted psychological interventions to ensure a healthy, effective, and sustainable workforce. This presentation will outline the development of an innovative hospital based health care worker support program that is delivered by the Department of Clinical Psychology and Clinical Neuropsychology. The presentation will outline a tiered approach to psychological service provision to all health care staff in the FSFHG and discuss the proposed implementation plan and evaluation strategies. Early staff feedback through surveys and needs analyses indicates a demand for specific and specialised psychological support for staff, provided by ‘in-house’ clinical psychologists as a link to other resources including electronic and digital and external employee assistance programs.
Dr Michael Monisse-Redman is an endorsed and practising Clinical Psychologist and Professional Practice Fellow (School of Psychological Science, University of Western Australia) with over 24 years clinical and service development experience working across various sectors including Education, Mental Health, University and Hospital Services. He is currently the Acting Senior Clinical Psychologist Coordinator at Fiona Stanley Fremantle Hospital Group overseeing the development and implementation of the Staff Psychological Wellbeing and Support Program, an innovative in-house psychological support service for health care workers experiencing stress, anxiety and distress. In response to the ever increasing demands on health care workers during the world-wide COVID pandemic, the FSFHG has allocated resources in early 2021 to provide additional support to staff including 1:1 psychological support, team and unit based education and reflective sessions, psychological first aid, and hospital group wide education seminars. Today’s presentation will explore the underpinnings of staff wellbeing and psychological support and the development and implementation of the wellbeing and support service now active at FSFHG.