Supporting practitioners’ mental health during the COVID-19 pandemic

The importance of supporting mental health of allied health practitioners during the pandemic
The uncertainty of COVID-19 has taken its toll on both the mental health, wellbeing, and physical health of many practitioners in the allied health industry, including chiropractors.

Ensuring health is at the forefront of practitioner’s minds is essential to successfully navigate an unprecedented global pandemic that has played havoc on the lives and businesses of chiropractors and allied health practitioners globally.

There are many tools that can assist practitioners to navigate COVID, with the view to exit at the other side of the pandemic with greater resilience.

Tips and tools for self-care and mental health during COVID-19
As they say during the in-flight safety demonstration ahead of take-off, you need to fit your own oxygen mask before helping children or any persons needing assistance, and your mental health is no different.

Ensuring positive mental health for allied health practitioners during COVID-19 is important not just for clinicians but also for patients. Committing to a healthy mind ensures health professionals provide the highest possible care for patients.

Ways to promote practitioners’ body and mind during COVID-19 include:

  • Take care of your mental health – getting plenty of sleep, eating well, avoiding alcohol, getting lots of sunlight, connecting with others and exercising are all great ways to promote your mental health.
  • Practice self-care – simple ways to practice self-care including eating healthy foods and taking care of your emotional, social, practical, mental, and physical care.
  • Reduce stress where possible – offloading any stress or anxiety is key to keeping yourself in a healthy mental health space.
  • Ask for help – if you feel overwhelmed or not able to cope with the needs of your patients or clinic, ask for help or seek support from colleagues, family, or friends.

Allied health professionals, no matter their profession or years in the industry, have the right to physical, psychological, social, and emotional safety in their workplace. Practitioners should be mindful and keep vigilant should they experience a decline in their mental health.

Practitioners are experiencing increased anxiety and amplified pressure due to COVID-19
COVID-19 has been an unprecedented experience for allied health professionals across the globe and practicing self-care during the pandemic has never been more important.

Whether it’s embracing self-care, building resilience, or taking time for physical activities to combat mental health issues, practitioners should be mindful and aware of their mental health and seek support should stress and the uncertainty of the pandemic start to impact their practice.

Practitioners experiencing increased stress, anxiety, or depression because of COVID-19 should seek support from a medical health practitioner or from the support services listed below.
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Our 2020 PhD Scholarship participant Simon Vella is a chiropractor, PhD research candidate and casual tutor in the Department of Chiropractic at Macquarie University. Simon completed his Master of Research Program through Macquarie University on lumbopelvic and lower limb biomechanics in 2020. He is currently a PhD candidate focusing on emergency and paramedic healthcare for low back pain through the Institute for Musculoskeletal Health at The University of Sydney. “I became a chiropractor to help people and promote the active care paradigm which promotes progress…”
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