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Psychological Resources For Coronavirus (COVID-19)

During the outbreak many mental health professionals will be working to offer psychological support and advice to front-line medical staff, as well as to other clients, and to the public. We have put together this page to collate links to resources which might assist your clinical practice during the current global health crisis. If you are aware of any resources that you believe would be helpful to your colleagues please get in touch: [email protected]

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    If you are aware of any resources that you believe would be helpful to your colleagues, and which should be included here please get in touch: [email protected]

    Remote delivery / Teleworking

    • Ring ring: telephone work at the end of the world | Notaguru
      • A fantastic resource for people who are new to, or uncertain about, telephone and online working  link
    • Remote delivery guides | Oxford Center For Anxiety Disorders And Trauma
    • Effective therapy via video: top tips | British Psychological Society, Division of Clinical Psychology, Digital Healthcare Sub-Committee
      • Practical advice for professionals planning to offer video therapy download
    • Tips related to remote therapy provision | BABCP link

    Research & opinion papers

    • Supporting Hospital Staff During COVID-19: Early Interventions | Billings et al, 2020 | Occupational Medicine
      • link
      • Abstract: During a pandemic, hospital staff are at increased risk of a range of adverse mental health outcomes. There are factors during the current COVID-19 pandemic that are likely to exacerbate this risk including concerns about personal safety due to exposure and lack of personal protective equipment, high levels of fatalities amongst medical staff and patients and moral injury. Most people are resilient and over time will cope with these stressful and challenging experiences. Some staff, however, will develop anxiety, depression and post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD) … The response to ongoing high stress should aim to support coping, foster resilience, reduce burnout and reduce the risk of developing mental health difficulties. The following guidance is collated from research, best practice guidelines and expert clinical opinion.
    • Managing mental health challenges faced by healthcare workers during covid-19 pandemic | Greenberg 2020 | BMJ
      • link
      • Key messages: Healthcare staff are at increased risk of moral injury and mental health problems when dealing with challenges of the covid-19 pandemic; Healthcare managers need to proactively take steps to protect the mental wellbeing of staff; Managers must be frank about the situations staff are likely to face; Staff can be supported by reinforcing teams and providing regular contact to discuss decisions and check on wellbeing;
        Once the crisis begins to recede, staff must be actively monitored, supported, and, where necessary, provided with evidence based treatments.
    • The Psychological Impact Of Quarantine And How To Reduce It | Brooks, Webster, Smith, Woodland, Wessely, Greenberg, Rubin | The Lancet (2020)
      • download
      • Key messages: Information is key; people who are quarantined need to understand the situation; Effective and rapid communication is essential; Supplies (both general and medical) need to be provided; The quarantine period should be short and the duration should not be changed unless in extreme circumstances; Most of the adverse effects come from the imposition of
        a restriction of liberty; voluntary quarantine is associated with less distress and fewer long-term complications; Public health officials should emphasise the altruistic
        choice of self-isolating
    • Mental health care for medical staff in China during the COVID-19 outbreak | Chen et al 2020 | The Lancet
      • link
      • An important role for psychology “Many staff mentioned that they did not need a psychologist, but needed more rest without interruption and enough protective supplies. Finally, they suggested training on psychological skills to deal with patients’ anxiety, panic, and other emotional problems and, if possible, for mental health staff to be on hand to directly help these patients.”
    • A Framework for Rationing Ventilators and Critical Care Beds During the COVID-19 Pandemic | White & Lo 2020 | JAMA
      • link
      • An opinion paper concerning the ethical issues surrounding the potential rationing of ventilators. Of importance when considering the magnitude of decisions that will likely be imposed upon clinicians. “A triage officer or team, not the treating physician, should make decisions about allocating and discontinuing ventilators. The separation of the triage role from the clinical role is intended to enhance objectivity, avoid conflicts of commitments, and minimize the moral distress of clinicians providing treatment.”


    • Support The Workers | UCL / NHS  link
      • Support the workers is an international group of experts in disaster response, crisis psychology, high pressure decision-making and human performance and health under conditions of extreme stress. They have developed an excellent evidence-based training and support curriculum for staff providing psychosocial support to frontline workers. Helpful resources they have shared include:
    • COVID Trauma Response Working Group | UCL / NHS  link
    • Intensive Care Society: Wellbeing Resource Library link
      • In collaboration with Dr Julie Highfield the Intensive Care Society have developed a well-being resource pack designed to support psychological wellbeing in health workers. Helpful posters they have shared include:
        • Advice for sustaining staff wellbeing in critical care during and beyond COVID-19
        • Self-care during COVID-19
        • How to approach self-care
    • Coping With Coronavirus link
      • Fantastic collection of resources developed by trainee clinical psychologists at UCL. The also have a Facebook page with frequent updates.
    • Maintaining health and wellbeing during the COVID-19 pandemic | Institute Of Psychiatry, Psychology, & Neuroscience
      • link
      • Videos from a fantastic series of talks by the IoPPN. Talks include:
        • DO I or don’t I have COVID-19? The anxiety trap
        • ACTing with uncertainty: Emotions and COVID-19
        • Health behaviour for COVID-19: The good, the bad, and the ugly
    • Psychosocial responses to COVID-19 | NHS Education for Scotland
      • Helpful considerations for coordinating a response to COVID-19 in professional environments  link
    • Second Victim link
      • From Second Victim: Second victims are healthcare providers who are involved in an unanticipated adverse patient event, a medical error and/or a patient related injury and become victimized in the sense that the provider is traumatized by the event. Frequently, these individuals feel personally responsible for the patient outcome. Many feel as though they have failed the patient, second guessing their clinical skills and knowledge base.)
    • American Psychological Association – Pandemics link
    • Just Listening link
      • “Emotional distress around COVID-19 is not a ‘mental illness’: It is an understandable and common human experience.”
    • The nature of compassion, fear, safe relating, and world change | Compassionate Wellbeing
      • link
      • A series of talks by Professor Paul Gilbert discussing how compassion can help us during this time of heightened anxiety and uncertainty.

    Policy documents

    • Addressing Mental Health And Psychosocial Aspects Of COVID-19 Outbreak | Inter-Agency Standing Committee
      • This briefing note summarizes key mental health and psychosocial support (MHPSS) considerations in relation to the 2019 novel coronavirus (COVID-19) outbreak. download
      • Web page with regularly updated information  link
    • Optimising staff preparedness, wellbeing, and functioning during the COVID-19 pandemic response | Dr Alys Cole-King (Consultant Psychiatrist)
      • Guidance compiled by a combination of UK and international subject matter experts in the psychology of staff wellbeing plus medical managers and everyday clinicians from clinical areas likely to get hit hard by COVID. link
      • V1.02 of their policy document

    Information handouts

    • Mental Health and Psychosocial Considerations During COVID-19 Outbreak | World Health Organization
    • Supporting children and young people with worries about COVID-19 | Emerging Minds (University of Reading, University of Oxford)
    • Talking To Children About Coronavirus | British Psychological Society
    • Advice for Sustaining Staff Wellbeing in Critical Care During and Beyond Covid-19 | Intensive Care Society
      • “It is okay not to be okay”. A fantastic resource for those who will be working to support front-line healthcare staff link
    • Sustaining The Well-Being Of Healthcare Personnel During Coronavirus And Other Infectious Disease Outbreaks | Center For The Study Of Traumatic Stress
    • Managing Healthcare Workers’ Stress Associated with the COVID-19 Virus Outbreak | National Center For PTSD
    • Living with worry and anxiety amidst global uncertainty | Psychology Tools
      • Practical help and guidance link
    • FACE COVID | Russ Harris
      • Practical steps for responding effectively to the Corona crisis, using the principles of acceptance and commitment therapy (ACT). link
    • Doing What Matters In Times Of Stress | World Health Organisation / Russ Harris
      • An ACT-informed Illustrated Guide is a stress management guide for coping with adversity. link
    • Responding to COVID-19 |
      • Guide to using mindfulness for emotional regulation  link
    • COVID Marginal Gains Handbook | Rob Archer, Alex Jamieson link
    • Talking to children about illness (and COVID-19) | British Psychological Society
      • Much of the information that children hear about Covid-19 is intended for adults. Because children don’t understand risk in the same way that adults do many children are unsure of how worried they should be but many are very worried indeed – about themselves, their parents, grandparents, their pets, and their friends. We’ve written this short leaflet to give health professionals, educational professionals, parents and early years providers an informed understanding of children’s understanding at different developmental stages. link
    • 20 Minute Care Space | Charlie Jones  download
      • Shared by Dr Charlie Jones on Twitter. Designed to support the wellbeing of colleagues in our acute hospital setting. It’s a structured, safe space based on Andy Bradley’s Compassion Circles. (clinicians might be mindful of their audience and bear in mind the findings of the Chen 2020 Lancet paper).
    • The COVID Struggles list | Steve Jefferis
      • A CAT-informed and very normalising list of common experiences and dilemmas described by staff in a mental health and disability setting in the wake of the pandemic.  download

    Blogs / articles

    • Tips to share with children to help them cope with the new normal | WeNeedToTalkAboutChildrensMentalHealth link
    • For the generation shaped by coronavirus, life may never return to ‘normal’ | Prof Steven Taylor link
    • Coronavirus: how to stop the anxiety spreading out of control | Dr Jo Daniels  link
    • Moral injury | US Department of Veterans Affairs link
    • The moral cost of coronavirus | Journal of Medical Ethics link
    • Moral injury and burnout in medicine | STAT link