The widespread effects of the pandemic of Covid-19 have affected people far and wide. Frontline workers have also been found to be affected significantly. Health care workers have reported inadequate training on infection prevention and control, and there are widespread shortages of personal protective equipment (PPE). These challenges resulted in high rates of COVID-19 among health care workers, especially in the early stages of the pandemic. Fears for personal safety, high workload for those treating infected patients and limited support may have contributed to fatigue, burnout and stress among health care workers.

As most of it was unknown, especially during the early stages of the pandemic, the fear of uncertainty had led to the presence of stress disorder and anxiety in many people along with the frontline workers. When staying indoors was advised by the health care professionals, being out in the open among people was a must for the frontline and health care workers. The additional responsibility of having to deal with infected patients, had made it worse for the health care workers.

Studies highlighting the psychological impact of Covid-19 on the health care workers show that the estimated prevalence of depression and anxiety among health care workers was 25% and 26% respectively. The numbers are alarming and show the substantial impact of the pandemic on the psychological well-being of the frontline workers.

While many of the efforts to reduce stress and care for frontline workers must be made by organizations, managers and health administrators, frontline workers can also take actions to cope with stress.

Staying informed

It is important to seek information from reliable sources on topics such as case identification, infection prevention and control or any topic relevant to their role in the response.

Avoiding information overload
Try to limit the exposure to media, social media or unverified sources of information as much as possible to avoid the spread of myths and rumours.

Staying connected
Reaching out to friends and family members virtually might help in reducing the burn out. At the workplace, creating a formal or informal platform to share knowledge and discuss some ethical dilemmas one might be facing would be helpful.

Maintaining a healthy lifestyle
Maintaining a healthy diet, staying well-hydrated, and trying to get at least a few minutes of exercise a day have been recommended.

Avoiding unhealthy coping mechanisms
In periods of extreme stress, many people resort to using tobacco, alcohol or other substances. Replacing the unhealthy coping mechanisms with healthier ones, practicing breathing and mindfulness exercises are helpful.

Practicing self-care
Making time to do simple actions that bring joy, comfort and boost self-esteem on a regular basis must be incorporated in daily routine.

Seeking professional help
Being under constant stress, it is very natural to have a feeling of being overwhelmed. Seeking help from a clinical psychologist, attending virtual psychotherapy sessions have been recommended if the symptoms become persistent and difficult to manage. Being the best mental health center in Pune, the Center for Mental Health caters to the needs of the frontline workers efficiently and with great care. We provide depression counselling in Pune with utmost care and provide you with appropriate help needed.