Recognising and Alleviating the Mental Strain of Healthcare Work

Life as a healthcare worker can be immensely challenging, according to a recent story from the Straits Times. Dealing with the physical, mental, and emotional needs of their patients can drain workers, causing them to become stressed, frustrated, or anxious themselves.

Life As a Patient Services Associate

Mrs Mastan Nachiyal shared her story, explaining how her work at Tan Tock Seng Hospital can sometimes be overwhelming. She serves as a patient service associate, which means that she receives many calls during the day as well as many demands from patients. Some days are worse than others; and on the busiest of days, 54-year-old Mrs Mastan has to find a quiet spot to take a breath and calm herself.

Stress Throughout the Healthcare Industry

She says that many of her coworkers and others throughout the healthcare industry feel the same way. Their work for the benefit of physical and mental health in Singapore is important, but rigorous. Sometimes, these workers feel on the verge of a nervous breakdown themselves. Mrs Mastan explains, ” Sometimes we are angry inside; but we are the front-liners and we have to be tactful.”

A New Collaboration

Fortunately, a couple of organisations are taking note of the plight of healthcare workers. In September of 2017, the Association of Psychotherapists and Counsellors and the Healthcare Services Employees’ Union (HSEU) announced their collaboration on a new scheme— supporting the mental health of employees in the health care industry.

Additional Programmes

Both organisations released statements of understanding, specifically in regards to the unique stresses that caregivers endure. Over a number of years, the HSEU and the Association of Psychotherapists and Counsellors plan to establish locations at healthcare centres where the healthcare employees can walk in and get help for stress, anxiety, rage, and other feelings.

Peer Support and Greater Awareness

Currently, several health care organisations throughout Singapore provide counselling programmes to their staff. Others employ peer supporters who can come alongside a struggling worker and offer immediate help after a traumatising incident. After helping right away, in the moment, the peer supporter can direct the individual to a psychologist or psychiatrist in Singapore for additional help.

At National Healthcare Group, workers are allowed more flexible work arrangements if their current schedules or loads are too intense.

As these support programmes and efforts are ongoing, there is also a push for greater awareness of the mental health of healthcare workers. These needs must be recognised as being “part of workplace health and safety,” according to K. Thanaletchimi, president of the HSEU.

Talking with a Psychologist in Singapore

If you are currently a caregiver or a worker in the healthcare industry, you may endure a lot of stress at work. When you add in any stress or trouble in your personal life, it’s a recipe for mental health issues. For anxiety, stress, obsessive behaviours, or depression in Singapore, it’s important to seek help from a qualified psychologist or psychiatrist. Adelphi Psych Medicine Clinic provides a beautiful, private office space and a team of skilled mental health professionals to ensure that you get the care you need. Call today to schedule an appointment.

News Feed from Adelphi Psych Medicine Clinic

Source: Straits Times, 27 Sept 2017