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The impact of staff wellbeing for healthcare professionals

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The pandemic has had a massive impact on the mental wellbeing of many health professionals

Several studies have highlighted the impact that the pandemic has had on medical and humanitarian professional’s mental health. It was this reason that Dr Lucia Berdondini, senior lecturer and programme leader of the MSc Humanitarian Intervention at the School of Psychology, University of East London, decided to create the wellbeing portal for healthcare and humanitarian professionals.

Dr Lucia Berdondini, said, “The idea of the portal emerged during a group discussion we were having with our students, in the first wave of COVID-19. We thought that it was important to use what we learn and share on the course to support humanitarian and healthcare staff. Our students and alumni are actively involved in the portal and it's amazing working together and offering something that hopefully helps to make a difference in this difficult time.”

The pandemic has changed the way we work, study and live and to help healthcare professionals who are struggling with their mental wellbeing, the portal offers a range of internal and external resources available to use to their benefit. These include informative reading materials, links to videos with input on mindfulness, yoga, meditation, a series of short videos and monthly live webinars.

These webinars are on specific topics related to managing stress in time of crisis, emotional regulations, wellbeing, the body as a resource to work with trauma and stress and many more. They also offer opportunities for healthcare professionals to get involved in discussions or reflect on their own experiences. The next webinar takes place on 23 February and will look at staff wellbeing and the impact of culture, identity and context and what the impact of personal identity is combined with contextual factors on an individual’s experience of wellbeing support.

Julia Warrington, Wellness Advisor for the Global Humanitarian Surge Platform, will be the key speaker at this webinar. Julia, also having worked with Save the Children for over 15 years, said, “I have a particular interest and passion for supporting staff working in the most challenging environments and I have developed a comprehensive understanding of the unique stresses and strains that colleagues working in this sector are exposed to.

“This platform has a specific goal of localising surge resources wherever possible over the next five years and aims to strengthen local and culturally appropriate wellbeing provision. Completing my Masters in Humanitarian Interventions at UEL in 2019 has also been invaluable in developing my understanding of MHPSS and the cross-cultural issues which impact staff wellbeing.”

Dr Berdonini’s research is extensive and is also related to humanitarian psychosocial interventions in countries affected by war and poverty. She has expertise in developing transcultural counselling training in countries including Afghanistan, Angola, India and Syria and projects that enhance the wellbeing of humanitarian aid workers as well as beneficiaries.

If you would like to know more about the wellbeing healthcare portal and find out more information about the available resources, click here.