By now, you’re likely well aware of the outbreak of COVID-19, and its health implications. With the spread of the coronavirus, most workplaces will be affected in some way and that can take a toll on the mental health of first responders. It’s important to remember that mental health is just as important as physical health when responding to a situation like this. These resources are intended to help first responders and first responder organizations better understand how the pandemic can have an impact on mental health, and to offer suggestions on how to support the mental health of first responders.
BC Emergency Health Services Handbook
BC Emergency Health Services has their handbook through an app and is the official source for their treatment guidelines. In addition, it contains BCEHS-specific operational content and various clinically accepted best practice models for paramedics. The app now has an additional button for COVID-19 and contains best practices for things such as PPE. While this was designed for paramedics, firefighters and police may find this useful. Here are the links to find it in the app store:
Behavioral Health Considerations
The International Association of Fire Fighters has produced this advice on mental health issues that may be experienced during the COVID-19 outbreak.
Boreal Wellness Centres Public Safety Personnel Support Groups
The support groups will use curriculum developed by a psychologist and be conducted via secure video conference. This will allow participants to join from a convenient location while adhering to the social distancing recommendations.
Coronavirus: Managing Stress & Anxiety (Canadian Mental Health Association, Kelowna)
Tips and information on how to reduce and manage anxiety in the workplace due to the COVID-19 outbreak.
Coronavirus Sanity Guide
In times like these, we need practical, actionable ways of coping with stress, fear, and anxiety. The meditations, podcasts, blog posts, and talks on this page will help you build resilience and find some calm amidst the chaos.
Guidance for Peer Support – Checking In With Quarantined and Isolated Members
The International Association of Fire Fighters has produced this guide on creating infrastructure to conduct outreach to quarantined and isolated members and suggestions for what to cover in outreach interactions.
Helping Your Family Cope With COVID-19
The International Association of Fire Fighters has produced this advice on how to help your family cope.
Mental Health and Psychosocial Considerations During COVID-19 Outbreak (World Health Organization)
These mental health considerations were developed by the WHO’s Department of Mental Health and Substance Use as messages targeting different groups to support for mental and psychosocial well-being during COVID-19 outbreak.
Pandemic Influenza Psychosocial Support Plan for Health Care Workers and Providers
The purpose of this document is to outline the non-medical issues and consequences of an influenza pandemic and provide a planning framework for the development of workforce resiliency programs and support strategies to address the psychological and social (psychosocial) needs of HCWP.
Provincial Health Officer Letter to Police and Fire
Advice to police and fire departments and their members regarding self-isolation precautions related to the current COVID-19 pandemic.
The Canadian Mental Health Association has produced this advice on boosting mental resilience during the COVID-19 outbreak.
Supporting the Psychosocial Well-being of Health Care Providers During the Novel Coronavirus (COVID-19) Pandemic
The purpose of this document is to outline guidance for psychosocial planning for health care providers who provide care and services during the COVID-19 pandemic.
What to Expect During Quarantine or Isolation
The International Association of Fire Fighters has produced this advice on emotional reactions to, and coping with, quarantine or isolation.