COVID-19 (Coronavirus) and your mental wellbeing
Member Support Services
As an RCN member, you can get free, confidential advice, representation and support on a range of issues that affect you at home and at work.
If you need further professional support contact the RCN Counselling service. We are operating as normal to support our members during this time.
RCN wellbeing resources and campaigns
- Time and Space mindfulness videos have been developed for nursing staff, each one covering a different stage of the day, and providing you with different practical techniques to use. There is also a "team support and defusing" video for nurse managers or nurses in charge.
- This Providing emotional and practical support for you leaflet offers a snapshot of how the RCN's Member Support Services team (MSS) can support members with their careers, emotional wellbeing, immigration, welfare, finances, and about the peer support service.
- The Rest, Rehydrate, Refuel campaign offers resources, advice and posters for members, managers, and safety reps about the importance of breaks, good hydration, and access to nutritional food.
- This Self-care during COVID-19 poster resource outlines some important steps staff can take to look after themselves.
- The Nursing Standard Wellbeing Centre has a number of free-to-access mental health and wellbeing resources, such as the Nursing Standard podcast and a list of strategies to avoid feeling overwhelmed by pressure at work. Users will need to sign up for a free account to access some resources.
- England: Our Frontline: support for healthcare workers
- Northern Ireland: Public Health Agency: Staff health and wellbeing.
- Scotland: National wellbeing hub for people working in Health and Social Care
- Wales: Health for Health Professionals Wales
- Frontline 19 offers free online mental health and emotional wellbeing services to support frontline workers.
- Our Frontline offers all healthcare workers round-the-clock one-to-one support, by call or text, from trained volunteers, along with resources, signposts, toolkits, tips and ideas to help look after your mental health.
- The Royal College of Emergency Medicine is inviting nurses working in emergency and critical care settings to use the RCEM Wellbeing App.
- NHS staff have been given free access to wellbeing apps such as Sleepio (to help improve sleep), Unmind (to improve mental wellbeing) and Daylight (to help with symptoms of worry and anxiety through cognitive behavioural techniques). Non NHS healthcare workers should also be able to sign up too, as you don't need a NHS e-mail to register. To find out more see the NHS Employers website.
- The My Possible Self mental health app has been made free to all during the COVID-19 emergency. Use the simple learning modules to manage fear, anxiety and stress, tackle unhelpful thinking, record your experiences and track symptoms to better understand your mental health.
- You can also browse NHS wellbeing apps, the majority of which are free and available to everyone.
Dealing with death at work
Whether you are experiencing death for the first time as a student, or have experienced it many times over your career, it is never easy to process. During the COVID-19 outbreak, healthcare professionals may be exposed to multiple deaths, and the psychological impact of this must not be underestimated. Here is some helpful advice on coping with the death of a patient: RCN blog: Dealing with death.
For bereavement support contact Cruse Bereavement Care. The helpline (0808 808 1677) is completely free from all UK landlines and mobiles.
Self care tips
- Make sure you are getting your news from trusted sources
- Limit your exposure to social media if you find it is heightening your anxiety
- Think self-care, sleep, routine, rest. You may find yourself working longer hours or more shifts so take care of your physical health as best you can
- Stay connected to family and friends by phone, email or video calls
- Check local arrangements for key worker childcare plans in your area
Anxiety and self help
During the pandemic, many RCN members have spoken about the anxiety they have been experiencing, which can leave them feeling ‘paralysed,’ and make it difficult to switch off from what is going on around them.
This self-help Coronavirus anxiety workbook from the Wellness Society provides a range of information and resources to help you reduce anxiety levels and feel more uplifted in this difficult time.
- COVID-19 FAQs
- COVID-19 and vaccination FAQs
- COVID-19 and staffing levels
- COVID-19 and time off
- Employment guidance for NHS staff
- Individual risk assessments
- Nursing students & trainee nursing associates advice
- Personal protective equipment (PPE) advice
- Redeployment guidance
- Managing COVID-19
- COVID-19 vaccination
- Immunisation & large-scale vaccination delivery during COVID-19
- Prescribing safely under COVID-19
- DNACPR & verification of death
- Mental health care delivery