Published:

How to support mental health among frontline healthcare workers in a pandemic

Lead researcher: Professor Brian McGuire. Funded by: Irish Research Council and Health Research Board. Funding amount: €187,254.

Professor Brian McGuire
Professor Brian McGuire

In summary

It is important to protect the mental health of frontline healthcare workers during the COVID-19 pandemic, because they shoulder a large burden of treating people who are affected by the disease. But the current guidelines about mental health protection for frontline healthcare workers typically relate to incidents such as terrorist attacks and natural disasters. The mental health needs of frontline healthcare workers in this long-term 21st-century pandemic are unknown. A project funded by HRB and IRC at NUI Galway will gather information about the experience and needs of frontline healthcare workers during the pandemic in Ireland and overseas, and will develop best-practice principles to support the mental health of frontline healthcare workers for this and future pandemics.

The problem

Frontline healthcare workers are under stress due to COVID-19, but there are no existing best practice guidelines for supporting their mental health in a long-term 21st century pandemic.

The project

A project led by NUI Galway will gather and analyse information about the experience of frontline healthcare workers in Ireland and abroad, and develop and test best practice for supporting their mental health.

The outcomes

  • We will know more about the mental health needs of frontline healthcare workers during the COVID-19 pandemic.
  • The project will develop and test best practice guidelines for supporting mental health among healthcare workers for COVID-19 and future pandemics of its sort.

Professor Brian McGuire of NUI Galway School of Psychology, says:

‘Those working at the frontline of COVID-19 medical care may be experiencing enormous stress - it's vital that we understand their experiences so we can provide suitable and effective psychological support’.

Professor McGuire speaks about the project on the HRB You Tube channel.

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