Q&A: Coping with added stress during the COVID-19 pandemic
Q: Case managers across the country have faced challenging circumstances for the past six months, and the novel coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic is hitting a second wave. How can case managers best cope with the added stress and pressures of the job while caring for their patients during these unprecedented times?
A: It's important that case managers do not lose sight of their own mental health during the COVID-19 pandemic.
“They will be tested in ways never imagined. Their resilience and mental health will be challenged,” says Ellen Fink-Samnick, MSW, ACSW, LCSW, CCM, CRP, DBH(s), author of the HCPro book The Social Determinants of Health: Case Management’s Next Frontier.
During these times, it’s important for case managers to prioritize attention available staff support, morale and behavior health, the use of employee assistance programs, and staff self-care. Case managers should also pay close attention to their nutrition and sleep patterns. When possible, be sure to recharge and avoid depleting, says Fink-Samnick. Below are several tools that case managers can use to help cope with their added stress:
- CDC site for stress and coping: detailed resource listing for providers/public
- PsychHub: COVID-19 mental health resources
- SupportGroupsCentral: virtual support groups
- Calm and Moodfit: apps to address mild anxiety, depression, coping
- Talkspace: free online therapy for healthcare professionals
- The Sleep Foundation: sleep hygiene (e.g., insomnia, depression, anxiety)
Editor's note: This topic was orginally addressed in November's issue of Case Management Monthly.