Supports for healthcare staff

Supports for healthcare staff

Frontline Health Service Executive (HSE) staff involved in the treatment of COVID-19 patients are being offered free counselling sessions. The HSE has said that staff can avail of therapy sessions under the Employee Assistance Programme (EAP). Healthcare staff working with patients who have the virus are not only at higher risk of contracting the virus but they can also be exposed to “complex psychosocial risks” the HSE said. 

The EAP comes under the remit of the Workplace Health & Wellbeing Unit, and includes:

  • specialist work-centred therapy
  • counselling services
  • critical incident stress management
  • and psychological interventions that are provided to respond to healthcare workers for whom current challenges posed by work and/or personal life impact on their health and wellbeing.
  • “The EAP supports all staff groups and is also a resource to the HSE in meeting its obligations as an employer under employment,
  • health and safety and equality legislation,” the spokesman said. “These supports will be offered throughout the current period and
  • afterwards.” A HSE spokeswoman further explained that the EAP is “is available free of charge to all HSE employees”.

Therapy is provided by trained and experienced counsellors who are professionally qualified and bound by the codes of conduct to the professional bodies to which they belong. It is a work-based staff support service that serves both HSE staff and the organisation. “The service provides management consultation on staff wellbeing issues, and staff psychosocial supports. It is a confidential, independent service designed to support employees to address personal or work-related issues, or for whom current challenges posed by work and/or personal life impact on their health and wellbeing. Staff can access EAP services by self-referring directly, or by agreed referral through Occupational Health, or their line manager,” the spokeswoman added.

[Correct at 12 April 2020] Out of nearly 7,000 confirmed cases of the virus, 1,765 cases are associated with healthcare workers.