ASHP recognizes that our members are in various stages of preparing for, responding to, and recovering from the COVID-19 global pandemic. This is an extremely difficult time and as we – pharmacists, pharmacy residents, students pharmacists, and pharmacy technicians - continue to care for our patients, it is even more imperative to step-up our well-being for ourselves and the healthcare workforce community.
People with preexisting mental health conditions should continue with their treatment plans during an emergency and monitor for any new symptoms. Additional information is found at the Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration (SAMHSA) website.
Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration’s (SAMHSA’s) Disaster Distress
- Hotline: 1-800-985-5990
- Text TalkWithUs to 66746
- People with deafness or hearing loss can use their preferred relay service to call 1-800-985-5990.
- Clarify what your role will be when called upon to work or respond to on-call.
- Identify ways to stay connected with family and friends. Share with them what your roles & responsibilities will be during this time.
- Review ASHP Well-Being Reminders during Difficult Times.
- Review ASHP Checklist for Pharmacists and Pharmacy Technicians to Protect Themselves in Outpatient Care Settings.
- Review ASHP Checklist for Pharmacists and Pharmacy Technicians to Minimize Exposure from COVID-19 at Home.
- Read the SAMHSA Tips for Disaster Responders: Preventing and Managing Stress.
- Consider trying an app on meditation and relaxation, coping with stress/anxiety, or insomnia before entering an extremely stressful/crisis situation. ASHP members have free access to Headspace.
- Familiarize yourself with the CDC: Mental Health and Coping with COVID-19 resources.
- Watch Medicine Grand Rounds - Mental Health During a Pandemic. [YouTube]
- Recognize symptoms of burnout. [ASHP Infographic]
- Get support from team members – implement a buddy system. [NIOSH Fact Sheet on Buddy System]
- Practice Self-Care Techniques.
- Write in a journal – reflect on three good things that happened today
- Maintain a healthy diet with adequate sleep and exercise, including hydration
- Use employer-provided mental health resources, such as Employee Assistance Programs.
- It is natural to feel stress, anxiety, grief, and worry during and after a disaster. Taking care of your emotional health during an emergency will help you think clearly and react to the urgent needs to protect yourself and your family. [CDC]
- If away from home for extended periods of time, remember the ways identified to stay connected with your family and friends.
- If away from home for extended periods of time, identify a de-briefing partner you can connect with on a regular basis. This can be someone in your profession (a supervisor or a colleague) or someone outside of your profession (a mentor or a friend).
- Review NAM Strategies to Support Health and Well-Being of Clinicians During the COVID-19 Outbreak.
- Relieve Stress For Healthcare Workers Responding to COVID-19: Leading Towards Organizational Wellness in an Emergency [ASPR Mini Module]
- Recognize and build awareness to physical, cognitive, emotional, or behavioral symptoms of stress, which may continue or begin weeks-to-months after the event.
- Engage in employer-offered critical incident stress management programs.
- Make as many daily decisions as possible to give yourself a feeling of control over your life.
- Spend time with others or alone doing the things you enjoy to refresh and recharge yourself.
- Remember that “getting back to normal” takes time.
- Review COVID-19 Managing Stress & Tips [CDC]
- Appreciate a sense of humor in yourself and others. It is okay to laugh again.
- Reach out—people really do care.
- Reconnect with family, spiritual, and community supports.
- Be aware that recovery is not a straight path but a matter of two steps forward and one back. You will make progress.
- Your family will experience the disaster along with you. You need to support each other. This is a time for patience, understanding, and communication.
- Get plenty of rest and normal exercise. Eat well-balanced, regular meals.