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Q&A Forum Event:  Frontline Worker Wellbeing
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Q&A Forum Event: Frontline Worker Wellbeing

Q&A Forum Event: Frontline Worker Wellbeing

Thread created on: Thursday, July 16, 2020
By: Marcus

Thread Comments


 

Good Afternoon and welcome to the C-19 Frontline Worker Forum!

Today we have Tasha and Amanda from the Frontline Network team here to discuss Frontline Worker Wellbeing during C-19.

We will be responding to your comments and posts throughout the session, and will collate the key resources you share in your comments at the top of the thread (Key Resources).

Please remember that this Forum Event is an open conversation, and we need to hear from you!

Please do share your knowledge of Frontline Worker Wellbeing Support on this thread, either by posting a comment, or responding to a query someone may post.

If aren't able to post a comment, please do use the like button, so that other Frontline Workers can see which comments are most helpful.

We look forward to hearing from you all and hope you enjoy this session.

Many thanks,

Marcus

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Hello everyone,

Welcome to our Wellbeing Q&A! We appreciate that there's quite a lot which can be covered, but hopefully we'll be able to cover as much as possible today.

I'm Tasha, and I work on the VRF along with developing the internal wellbeing policy hear at St Martin's Charity. I'll be answering questions along with Amanda, who works on the Frontline Network.

We're really looking forward to hearing from you all today. Nat and Marcus are working hard behind the scenes, so we're in good hands.

To start things off, we thought we'd ask the question: What does wellbeing mean to you?

Replies: (7) - Hide All

Being in good physical and in mental health . Felling happy and being able to do the things that make me feel good about my self.

Thanks Veda, that's really helpful. Action for happiness created their 10 keys to happier living based on scientific research. It is a great reference point of how we can all build in little focal points throughout our day, to support our happiness and wellbeing. From doing things for others, connecting people through to taking care of our physical health, this helps us to have a sense of control in uncertain times where it an all feel overwhelming. https://www.actionforhappiness.org/10-keys

Balance! Knowing it's ok to take time to yourself, your family, your friends as well as the people we serve through our work, and in the same vein trying not to compare yourself to other people who seem to devote every working and personal minute to their jobs and to people on the street. I always feel a lot of guilt about not giving enough time compared to others, so managing my own expectations is a key to my wellbeing.

Thanks Rachel- it definitely is key to supporting our wellbeing. Just to let you know, we will be releasing some details next week about a couple of joint trainings we will be offering to frontline staff on Personal Effectiveness; Gaining some control and calming a worrying mind. were joining forces with the Directory of Social Change. We'll add details to our 'What's on' section, so please look out for these sessions in case they are helpful.

Hi Tasha, Amanda and everyone :)
My thoughts on wellbeing are of a positive state of emotional, social, spiritual and physical health. (Without being self-critical as it is quite a challenge to achieve a whole state of wellbeing in the best of circumstances, sometimes I do feel that I need to place a bit more focus on certain areas at times) Doing and finding joy in the small things is a really helpful reminder!

Hi Donna! Thank you for your reply! I agree, for me doing and finding the joy in small things is a helpful reminder!

Without being self-critical as it is quite a challenge to achieve a whole state of wellbeing in the best of circumstances - this is SO TRUE

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This platform is a collective of Coaches, supporting key workers with free 50-minute sessions (with the option to rebook) https://www.morehappi.com/heroes

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Having a good work/ life balance. Being able to take time back for me to do the things I love like travel, doing photography, swimming, seeing friends and loved ones. It's the little things that feel so important at the moment- like getting outside and having a walk early in the morning, or listening to upbeat music.

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Think productive facilitated at our 2018 conference on ‘ideas to implement small day to day changes to support staff wellbeing’. They produced some helpful tips that you can refer to and reminded us that the first thing we need to always consider, is looking after ourselves before we can look after other people. Working long hours and not switching off is not sustainable and can lead to burnout. See here for further details https://venngage.net/ps/MwCyeWfSNQ/wellbeing-for-frontline-workers

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Thank you for the comments so far! Tasha and Amanda are working their way through each one as quickly as possible.

We believe that through starting conversations with other frontline workers on this Forum, it is possible to break down the silos that we all too often find ourselves working in. 

So please do share your knowledge on this thread, either by posting a comment, a question, or responding to any of the queries posted!

Replies: (1) - Hide All

Some great resources provided so far that I am looking forward to reviewing, using and sharing with my colleagues. Continuing working during the pandemic has been a blessing but sometimes it has felt like there is no time for myself because everyone has so many problems to deal with. It is important to remember that our health and wellbeing is just as important, it has taken me quite a while to realise this though!

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Our next question is: why is looking after our wellbeing important?

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Looking after our wellbeing is important as it helps us prevent burnout and be able to support others to the best of our abilities. The Centre for Clinical Intervention, Australia, has some brilliant resources for looking after ourselves. We printed some of their leaflets out and left these out for people attending our conference to take away. You might find these helpful too. You can search by different themes and within the subsection, there are exercises you can do to work through themes or refer to their information leaflets. These include what is self compassion, assertiveness, worry through to procrastination. See here for their website https://www.cci.health.wa.gov.au/Resources/Looking-After-Yourself

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I would have to agree with what Amanda said, that Well Being is about balance and knowing it's ok to take time to yourself, your family, your friends.

Replies: (1) - Hide All

Thank you Gregory. it's really important that we allow ourselves to have a balance. We really need to take breaks, have firm boundaries of when is our work and private time- particularly when we are working from home. Bird facilitated a session about building resilience in a fast-paced world for us in 2019. This explored how we live in volatile, uncertain, complex and ambiguous (VUCA) times, which is more apt than ever. They created a handout with some useful references from TED Talks through to apps that can support us. See here https://frontlinenetwork.org.uk/media/1650/info.pdf Their website also offers lots of helpful blogs and workshops.

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It is important to look after your well being so you do not get burnt out and you are still able to provide a good service to the clients that you support.

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A good company to work for can really make the difference.
We can all try and change the way we work, and look at ways we can help ourselves, but is also helpful to work for an organisation who understands the pressures of being a frontline worker.

Replies: (1) - Hide All

Hi Daniel, that is definitely important. Here at St Martin's Charity, we sent staff a questionnaire to look at wellbeing and what we could do to help support staff in this area. We also did this during lockdown to see if there was anything which needed to be changed in light of the current situation.

It would be good to hear about other positive actions and resources organisations have put into place to help support their employees' wellbeing. Do please add them below!

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Our next question is- what have you found helpful to support yourself during this uncertain time?

Replies: (2) - Hide All

Plenty of time outside, and ensuring that my homeworking space is separate to other spaces within the house so that it doesn't feel that I am at work all the time.

I've found that there are many helpful resources online which have helped to try and ground myself during this time. Bird facilitated a session about building resilience in a fast-paced world for us in 2019. This explored how we live in volatile, uncertain, complex and ambiguous (VUCA) times, which is more apt than ever. They created a handout with some useful references from TED Talks on vulnerability and feelings of shame through to apps that can support us. See here https://frontlinenetwork.org.uk/media/1650/info.pdf Their website also offers lots of helpful blogs and workshops.

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Steve Freeman, a solution focused practitioner at Voices of Stoke, ran a session at our 2019 conference on supervision and self-care and how we can debrief to avoid taking work home with us. As a lot of us are working from home at the moment, having opportunities and tools to enable us to debrief from our workdays and separate our work and home life is really important. The practical tools he discusses can be used across different settings and support our self-care. https://frontlinenetwork.org.uk/media/1652/presentation.pdf He also has produced a solution-focused aide memoir. https://frontlinenetwork.org.uk/media/1651/aide-memoire.pdf

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I had found it helpful talking to colleagues about any concerns I might have and found reflective practice to be a good tool with colleagues as a good way to support myself during this time.

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Hi Gregory, that's very true. Talking to colleagues and reflective practice is really helpful at this time. We involved Karen Shukla from Mental Health First Aid England at our 2019 Conference, to facilitate a session on mental health, the workplace and you. One of the resources she provided to attendees was take 10 together, which provides tips on how we start a conversation about mental health. This asks us to take 10mins to start meaningful conversations with people around us about their mental health- from loved ones to colleagues and provides practical tips for this.
https://frontlinenetwork.org.uk/media/1644/take-10-together-at-work.pdf

We also have a general link to Mental Health FIrst Aid England at the top of the page. They run a number of different courses around mental health, including training for Mental Health First Aiders who are trained in supporting colleagues around mental health and associated issues.

If you are looking for some resources around mental health and working from home, Mind also have a dedicated page of information around support during this time and tips for working from home. They also have adapted their Wellness Action Plans to home-working, which is a tool developed for employees and managers to look at triggers, signs and support around emotional wellbeing: https://www.mind.org.uk/workplace/coronavirus-and-work/

Dr Amanda Skeate from St Basil’s in Birmingham, facilitated a really insightful session about Psychological Informed Environments, and what this means in practice. As a service, they provide support to young people experiencing homelessness in Birmingham and have used a PIE approach to ensure young people feel safe, cared about and understood. As we are working remotely, using a PIE approach can help us to work collaboratively with people we are working with; to ensure people can achieve their own goals and aspirations. It supports our understanding of complex trauma within a safe environment.
https://frontlinenetwork.org.uk/media/1645/handout.pdf


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That’s all folks!

Thank you very much for taking part in today’s Forum event. Your input was crucial in making sure the conversation was a valuable one, to share key learning on Frontline Worker Wellbeing Support.

A big thank you also to Tasha and Amanda from the Frontline Network for providing their expert knowledge on this subject, and for answering many of the great questions raised during this event.

Please note that you can continue this conversation by adding to this thread. You can also check out the latest threads on the C-19 Frontline Worker Forum.

Please note we will be running C-19 Q&A Forum events on a weekly basis. You can keep updated on the upcoming events by checking our What’s On.

As this is the third time facilitating an event of this nature, we would welcome any feedback you have on the formatting of this event, by emailing us at frontline@stmartinscharity.org.uk.

Have a great weekend!

Thanks,

Marcus

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