Mental Health and Wellbeing of Emergency Service Workers on COVID-19

Mental Health and Wellbeing

Introduction

Mental health refers to a specific form of well-being by which people can understand and figure out how to deal with particular stresses that emerge in their lives, identify and utilise different aptitudes that they have in their lives, and make efforts to be productive within their specific societies. The status of mental health in individuals is determined through various factors that majorly range from psychological and even biological (WHO, 2018). The emergence of mental health promotion programs has ensured that measures capable of improving individuals’ wellbeing have been put in place. On the contrary, well-being refers to a positive result and has an essential impact on people’s lives within various segments in a given community (Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, 2018). Based on COVID -19- 2020 case, this report imparts an analysis of the mental health of emergency service workers. Additionally, it constitutes three major sections that will discuss crucial factors that are in a position of impacting mental health and well-being, the value of an early intervention, and particular strategies needed to ensure that mental health is promoted and resilience is built.

LO1 Factors Influencing Mental Health and Wellbeing

P1 Link between Physical and Mental Health

One of the links between physical and mental health based on COVID-19 -2020 effects is that impaired mental health can result in severe physical conditions in most cases. Human physical health is highly sensitive to anything that can be hazardous to it, resulting in an adverse outcome. Mental health problems usually interfere with the affected people’s physical health by resulting in physical conditions that appear to be chronic (Ohrnberger, Fichera, and Sutton, 2017). Due to the emergence of COVID-19 -2020, economic distress has made most emergency services workers become stressed since they are not in the position of meeting their needs. As a result, most of the stressed individuals are developing chronic diseases that affect their physical health. Morbidities such as cancer, heart-related ailments, diabetes, and many other physical chronic conditions have mostly been associated with related mental defects (Ohrnberger, Fichera and Sutton, 2017). For instance, emergency service workers who develop depression due to COVID -19-2020 adverse effects (a mental disorder) are at high risk of contracting diseases that will end up affecting their mental health. Also, emergency services workers are depressed; there are high chances of engaging in substance abuse, which can affect their everyday wellbeing. Additionally, mental disorders can make the affected emergency services workers undernourished due to the intake of unbalanced meals which can impact their physical health.

The other link is that physical and mental health are more likely to be affected by various lifestyle factors. Exercising is an essential factor that plays a crucial role in ensuring that individuals’ physical and mental health is in good shape (Bell et al., 2019). According to research, it has been observed that when people engage themselves in physical activities, endorphins that are located in the brain and are known to be feel-good hormones are released. This indicates that a human being’s body is at low risk of contracting chronic physical conditions by exercising. Based on COVID-19 -2020, some of the measures that have been put in place have prevented emergency services workers who mainly depend on outdoor games or other outdoor activities as ways of exercising. Hence, most of these people are not in the position of having quality physical and mental health since they are incapable of exercising.

P2 Social and Psychological Factors Impacting Mental Health and Wellbeing of an Emergency Services Employee

Anxiety is a psychological factor that impacts the mental health and wellbeing of most emergency services employees. Anxiety is a severe disorder, and it is more capable of resulting in psychological distress if it is not adequately managed. Psychological distress negatively impacts mental health and wellbeing since it can lead to mental and physical disorders (Philip and Cherian, 2020). Furthermore, COVID-19-2020 impacts have worsened the situation since most emergency services workers are worried about how they can access necessities in their lives. For instance, if an emergency services employee does have a high family burden due to COVID 19-2020 and does not know how to go about it, there are high chances of developing mental health conditions.

On the other hand, gender is a social factor impacting mental health and an emergency services employee’s wellbeing. According to WHO, gender is perceived as an essential factor of mental health and related mental conditions. Women are perceived to be positively affected with mental disorders like depression than men; about 1 in every3 women within the community are involved. Women tend to be more concerned, and they are perceived to be weak; hence, they are incapable of handling some situations, especially those that negatively affect them (Lacey et al., 2016). In this case, COVID 19-2020 has worsened the situation in that most emergency response services workers are working under harsh conditions that have led to some of them contracting the disease. The pandemic has many challenges, and it can pose negative impacts, especially to female emergency response services workers, since some of them are undergoing traumatic situations that affect their mental health.

M1 Characteristics of Positive Mental Health

One of the characteristics of positive mental health individuals is that they always feel optimistic about their current lives and what they expect in the future. When people are confident about everything that is happening in their lives, there will be low chances of them getting into depression, resulting in mental problems. For instance, emergency response services employees who remain optimistic despite the harshness of COVID 19-2020 are less likely to contract mental disorders.

The other characteristics of positive mental health individuals are that they appear to be more resilient. The ability of people coping with various forms of stress in their lives is crucial. Dealing with stress is a vital aspect of healthy wellbeing. For instance, if a person can handle stress positively, there are high chances that the person will not be at risk of contracting mental disorders. Mental disorders are mainly associated with people’s inability to counter stress using effective strategies.

D1 The Impact of Positive Mental Health

Positive mental health (PMH) constitutes a broad spectrum of well-being reflections that range from psychological, emotional, and social aspects. The impact that positive mental health has on the effectiveness of emergency response is that it promotes fruitful psychological results. Positive mental health is capable of reducing the emergence of stress among emergency service workers. Through positive mental health, they will encounter techniques of encountering stress that they are going through by using the right strategies (Schönfeld, Brailovskaia, and Margraf, 2017). For instance, some emergency services might be struggling to make ends meet, especially during this period by which COVID 19-2020 has posed adverse effects on the economy. However, if they have positive mental health, the chances are that they will be able to conquer what they are going through without risking their lives. Therefore, positive mental health is a crucial aspect since it enhances appropriate psychological outcomes on the emergency response’s effectiveness.

LO2 Relevance of Interventions Measures in Enhancement of Positivity in Mental Health at an Early Stage 

P3 Importance of Experiences Developed During Childhood

The significance of early childhood experiences for mental health is that they form the basis of behaviour and practices that people will implement for the rest of their lives. The way people perceive things and deal with issues are perceived to be affected by several early childhood experiences. According to research, children’s brains are shaped by early experiences they encounter in their childhood, hence impacting how they will be managing and handling various challenges and stresses that they will face later receive in life (Nelson, Zeanah, and Fox, 2019). For instance, when a child has been taught the importance of having high self-esteem in childhood, there are high chances that the child will have positive mental health in the future. Thus, children must have early childhood experiences that will promote positive mental health in the future.

P4 Early Warning Signs of Mental Stress

             Several emotional signs are early signs of stress affecting mental health. Emotional symptoms include becoming agitated and irritated easily, staying lonely most of the time, and appearing to be unhappy. These signs are more likely to develop and become more complicated if they are not adequately managed (Dimoff and Kelloway, 2019). For instance, an emergency response services employee might appear to be unhappy due to the COVID 19 pandemic’s adverse effects. If the employee’s sad behaviour is not corrected and managed as soon as possible, there are high mental stress chances.

The support structure provided by public services organisations is counselling services. Most public services organisations have initiated counselling programs that play crucial roles in ensuring that workers who appear to have mental stress signs are identified and are counselled appropriately. This support structure prevents most public services organisations from being affected negatively by mental stress (Dimoff and Kelloway, 2019). Based on the COVID 19-2020 negative impacts on the emergency services employees, some might appear distressed, but they might get relief through counselling.

M2 Potential Benefits of Early Intervention

The benefit of intervention at an early stage on people’s mental wellness and well-being is that they reduce severe mental health conditions. Early intervention provides a mechanism by which sure signs of mental stress are detected, and appropriate ways of controlling them are implemented. Through early intervention, mental health problems are prevented from emerging or becoming much worse if they had already arisen (Colizzi, Lasalvia, and Ruggeri, 2020). Based on an emergency response employee who started to show signs of mental stress due to being affected by COVID 19-2020, through early intervention, a particular mechanism of early intervention that suits the employee’s needs can be implemented hence preventing the situation from becoming adverse.

The emergency medical service is an emergency service unit that implements early intervention measures to their employees. Most emergency medical service employees are at risk of being affected by the COVID 19- 2020 pandemic. Hence, early intervention measures need to be effected as soon as possible to counter early signs of mental stress, therefore promoting well-being.

LO3 Ways of Promoting Wellness of Mind Workplace

P5 Methods to Coping with Stress

Interventions that can promote healthy methods to cope with stress constitute primary, secondary, and tertiary interventions. For primary intervention, ways capable of preventing stress from occurring by eliminating any factor that can result in stress are identified and implemented. About secondary intervention, the already emerged pressure among individuals is corrected hence reducing adverse outcomes. Concerning tertiary intervention, rehabilitation is applied to those people already suffering from stress to promote behaviour change (Holman, Johnson, and O’ Connor, 2018).

P6 Strategies for Building Resilience

One of the strategies that can be used to build resilience among individuals is forming healthy relationships. Healthy relationships are essential components for both mental and physical health. Additionally, through healthy relationships, individuals can get support and advice that will enable them to feel better and get better guidance on how to go about particular stress (Forbes and Fikretoglu, 2018). For instance, through a healthy relationship, a person affected by COVID -19 -2020 pandemic will be able to know how to counter challenges. Therefore, through healthy relationships, individuals’ resilience can be built.

The other strategy is that individuals should engage themselves in physical and relaxation activities. Through physical activities, individuals will be able to counteract stress, and their impacts are hence feeling relief. Also, people should engage in relaxation activities when stressed because it will reduce the pressure that they have, therefore promoting well-being (Forbes and Fikretoglu, 2018).      

M3 Advantages and Disadvantages of Using Social Media

Social media is essential in promoting mental health and well-being in that it increases awareness. Educative information regarding mental health can be passed quickly to many people over a short period when social media channels such as Facebook are used. As a result, people will be able to know the dos and don’ts regarding mental health. Also, by using social media, loneliness, which is an early sign of mental stress, can be eliminated since the affected person can get educative information about mental health and experiences from other people (Line, 2020).

On the contrary, social media’s limitation to promote mental health and well-being is that fake news concerning mental health can be spread faster. Since social media constitutes many people, if phoney information regarding mental health is conveyed and implemented, adverse outcomes might arise (Line, 2020). For instance, if false information on coping with stress is passed on social media, and some people implemented them, there are higher chances of adverse outcomes. As a result, people must analyse the information they have got from social media before implementing them.

D2 Local or National Strategy

            Blue Light Programme is a local strategy that can promote the mental health and resilience of emergency service workers within the public services sector. Blue Light Programme promotes wellbeing by supporting emergency service personnel’s mental health. Emergency service workers usually go through challenging times that can affect their mental health; hence, through this program, they are being assisted in being safe both within their homes and workplaces (Salford, 2020).

LO4 Measures Taken by Public Service Workers to Promote Mental Health

P7 Promoting Wellbeing by Supervision

             Supervision supports wellbeing among workers in public service workers by promoting education to workers on different crucial health aspects. Through supervision, public services workers can be educated on essential mental health information after a supervisor pointed out certain parts that they do not understand (Services, 2012). As a result, the public service will be informed hence their wellbeing enhanced.

P8 Personal Plan

The personal plan to enhance mental health awareness and well-being as public services workers constitute building healthy relationships with other workers since relationships with positive intentions are good for mental health and well-being. Also, public service workers must always be able to learn new techniques regarding mental health and well-being. Additionally, public services workers should be able to adopt active lifestyles, such as engaging in physical activities.

M4 Impact of Colleagues, Friends, and Family

            Support is enhanced by friends and relatives of people working in public service for their health of mind and wellness. Support is a crucial aspect of people’s mental health and well-being since through it; people can figure out how to go about challenges they are facing. Friends, family, and colleagues are of high significance in people’s wellbeing and mental health since they can offer advice that can result in positive outcomes in case one is affected.

D3 Impact of Policies that can Promote Mental Health

             Policies promoting the health of mental wellness within the public sector enables personal support. Most of the systems usually state how an individual can use specific effective techniques when handling mental problems. As a result, public service workers can know how to support themselves through the practices they received.

Conclusion

The report has analysed the mental health of emergency service workers based on COVID-19 2020 by stating that the link between physical and psychological health in that mental disorders might impact physical health negatively. The early warning signs of stress constitute emotional signs such as feeling agitated and irritated most of the time. Social media can be used to raise awareness of mental health and well-being. It can also promote fake news that can result in adverse outcomes.

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