Cork charity launches initiative to provide emotional support to frontline workers

Cork charity launches initiative to provide emotional support to frontline workers
Supporting frontline practitioners during Covid-19 pandemic, Dr Nicola O'Sullivan, Jim Sheehan and Dr Maeve Hurley. Picture: Darragh Kane.

The 'Supporting the Heart of Frontline Practice' online sessions include 90-minute group reflective practice professional learning and support circles, 40-minute individual reflective practice sessions and 30-minute care spaces for teams or small groups.

All of the sessions have been created to support frontline workers’ personal resilience and self-care and to provide opportunities for individual and peer support during this unprecedented time.

They are the first in a series of initiatives by the collaborative group to provide a safe space where practitioners can be supported.

"While many organisations have systems in place to support the psychological impact of the work on frontline workers, they are likely to be considerably stretched at this time. 

"We are hoping that our interventions will act as an additional support for organisations and individuals as they navigate these unprecedented waters," Dr O'Sullivan said.

Dr Maeve Hurley, founder of Ag Eisteacht, said the charity has been working collectively with SHEP and Dr O'Sullivan to discuss how they could best help frontline workers.

"In the rush of activity on the frontline now and in the coming weeks, there will be little time to reflect on and to register the deeply painful situations that are being faced by practitioners. 

"This is an invitation for those working on the frontline to come into safe, on-line spaces to meet and to think and feel about how it is for them and to reflect on what supports and comforts them during difficult times," she said.

"We are also mindful that our new interns have experienced a lot of upheaval and stress due to exams being brought forward and the disappointment of not being together for their final graduation so we are extending this invitation to them," Dr Hurley continued.

Jim Sheehan, director of SHEP said the online sessions will give frontline workers the opportunity to practise some psychological self-care

"Our sessions will provide opportunities for workers to keep in touch, to practice small amounts of psychological self-care and to try to maintain a psychological safety in their workspace," he said.

The online sessions are open to all frontline practitioners in health, social care and community-response Covid-19 roles. 

Full details and bookings can be made via http://heartoffrontlinepractice.com/ or by emailing heartofpractice@gmail.com

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