Laura Kyle, Emergency Department (ED) Manager at Altnagelvin Hospital has set up a ‘Wobble Room’ to provide emotional support for staff during COVID-19 Pandemic and beyond.
Laura explains: “Over the past few months we have been preparing for Covid-19 to hit Northern Ireland. This has involved lots of changes within our department. In preparing for this and watching the devastation occurring worldwide I have been increasingly worried about the impact on the mental health and wellbeing of not just staff but the general public both during and in the aftermath of this pandemic.
“As ED staff we are known for our resilience and our 'just get on with it' attitude, however as we enter a period of unknown pressures and challenges and given that a lot of our staff have now been isolated from their normal support mechanisms I feel as a manager, I have a responsibility to look after staff and their mental health. A lot of our staff have chosen to move out of family homes to protect their loved ones so it was clear to me that we will be each other’s family in the coming months and therefore needed to find a way for us to be able to support each other.
“I came across the idea of a ‘wobble room’ on social media and felt this would provide an area for staff to comfortably 'have a wobble', support each other and ultimately mind their mental health. The room is very much in its infancy and we have provided mental health resources which we hope we can expand on in the coming days. Since we opened it yesterday we have been overwhelmed at the response for people offering ideas and resources to help us build on what we’ve done. We hope to be able to continue to develop this in the coming weeks and hope it will help staff as they face what will be the most difficult time in not just their careers but also their lives.
“We would like to thank the public for their support during this difficult time and ask them to continue to adhere to the Government’s advice on Social Distancing and Stay Home Save Lives messages.
For update information please go to the Western Trust website www.westerntrust.hscni.net or Public Health Agency https://www.publichealth. hscni.net/
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