COVID-19 Resilience Campaign
What we do:
Based at Silver Hill Hospital, the COVID-19 Resilience Campaign offers direct education to law enforcement agencies, nursing homes, and hospitals. We do this by way of providing Town Hall Forums on COVID-19, wellbeing, coping strategies, and tips on resiliency during the pandemic. This model allows us to learn more about your needs and provide the best practices we’ve gleaned from working with agencies similar to yours. Available now to all frontline workers are printed and sharable infographics on loss and grief, ways for leaders to support staff, critical self-care, and five-minute break cards. After we understand how we can best support you in this unique time, we will offer “Train the Trainer” materials, tailored specifically for your organization for continued support.
The COVID-19 Resilience Campaign collaborates with agencies and support networks throughout the community that can offer direct services to frontline workers in need of support. We are committed to supporting frontline workers any way possible to keep everyone resilient through these uncertain times. Please contact Resilience@silverhillhospital.org for more information.
Resources For Everyone
Increase Your Sleep
According to the National Institute of Health (2019), getting enough sleep is as vital to survival as food and water. Lack of sleep inhibits the formation of new neural pathways and makes it harder to concentrate and react quickly. To improve your sleep hygiene:
- Set room temperature to between 60-67 degrees F
- Limit screen time after dark to reduce cortisol production
- Ease the transition before drifting off by deep belly breathing
- Enlist a family member for a 5-minute foot massage or acupressure (or do it yourself!)
- Put socks on cold feet
Move Your Body
Exercise can provide protective factors during a time of increased stress. It boosts your mood, can reduce the risk of certain illnesses, and decreases stress. And if you were exercising but stopped, think again. That reduction may not be in your best interest. According to Weinstein, Koehmstedt, & Kop (2017), a decrease in exercise can result in depressive symptoms and anxiety. To get more movement in your day:
- Lift something moderately heavy, safely (like a coffee table book or a jug of water) 10 times or more during a break. More on the benefits of lifting heavy things
- Take the stairs or park in an adjacent lot to increase daily steps
- Take a free online Yoga class
According to a comprehensive review of meditation programs for psychological stress and well-being (Goyal et al., 2014), mediation improved symptoms associated with anxiety, depression, and pain, reducing psychological distress. With a five-minute break, you can even get in a quick meditation that starts with box-breathing. Here are some resources our staff finds helpful:
Resources for Leaders
Strong teams require influential leaders, especially during times of crisis. Here are suggestions on how to lead effectively, steadily, and compassionately. Prepare your team to work at the best possible during the worst possible.
Take time to reach out
- Ask team members how they are doing and how you can help.
- Provide emotional support along the way. It will create greater engagement and help employees bring more of themselves to work.
- Is there something setting your staff member back? See what you can do to help. You need to know what kind of emotional load they are carrying. Arriving at work frustrated, angry, fearful, or exhausted, will affect their ability to make decisions with confidence and focus. Make sure they know you’ve “got their back” to prevent burnout, anxiety, and poor performance at work.
- Take a minute to touch base with your team at the start of each shift.
- Encouraging staff to become aware of emotional status prevents toxic emotions from taking over.
- Create a visual and verbal reconnaissance of the members’ mental states. Look for facial cues. Listen to indicators of stress, anxiety, and worry.
- Use keywords to address emotional status. Use questions such as, “How is your emotional temperature?” or “Where are you on the self-compassion meter?” It provides a light and productive check-in without having to go into details.
- Have team members had restful sleep and nourishment? These will serve as buffers against fatigue, help productivity, and prevent breakdowns in the system.
Reappraise and adapt
- Expect faults and deficiencies in the system. They will show up and ultimately hinder work.
- Step outside of the leader’s perspective and consider issues that might affect the broader context given these new circumstances.
- Recognize and acknowledge new needs, habits, resources, and areas where the team can grow. Get input about the good, bad, and ugly.
- Give your team the vision and hope that is appropriate and needed at this moment. Your team is looking up to you as their leader.
Cherish your team
- Give praise and validation, especially to small successes, assertions, and progress. It’s crucial for team morale right now. Acknowledge those that put in the effort.
- Be calm, empathic, emotionally understanding, and validating. The return on this investment will be ten-fold.
Learn the lesson
- Take time to process and reflect on what’s happened. Be sure to take note of possible mistakes, errors, mishaps, or barriers in your teamwork and convert them into learning opportunities.
- Figure out new ways to go about things. Take different approaches and practice new habits from lessons learned. It will take your team to the next level.
- Find the optimal way to prepare for the future by training and building on what you’ve gone through in crisis time. This will be instrumental for having a well-oiled machine, regardless of what the future brings.
- Finally, find clarity on what has worked and what hasn’t. It will support your new roadmap.
Resources to Download & Share
Resources for Staff (PDF)
Essential Habits for the Next Wave (English)
Specific to Healthcare Workers
Compassion for Healthcare_Workers (English)
Compassion for Healthcare_Workers_Infographic_(English)
Specific to First Responders
Creating Space for Law Enforcement (English)
Below is a collection of informative resources from other institutions and agencies. Posted information and resources may be helpful for readers to access at their discretion but are not necessarily endorsed by Silver Hill Hospital.
Basic Psychosocial Skills A Guide for COVID-19 Responders
from the Inter-Agency Standing Committee (IASC)
The NIMH Strategic Plan for Research outlines the Institute’s research goals and priorities over the next five years
from the National Institute of Mental Health (NAMI)
How to Protect Yourself and Others
from Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC)
COVID-19 Resilience Campaign
Our new heroes: Support frontline staff and first responders
We must take care of those who care for others.
Silver Hill Hospital has established the COVID-19 Resilience Campaign to keep frontline medical workers and first responders mentally resilient in the face of potentially overwhelming stress resulting from the COVID-19 pandemic. Giving to the campaign will support this efforts as we offer in-person and virtual mental health support to these heroes.
It is critical that doctors, nurses and other frontline healthcare workers (FHW) caring for hospitalized COVID-19 patients stay resilient to cope with the stress of making life and death decisions, working in overburdened settings and facing personal danger of infection. The campaign is designed to address the long-lasting mental health effects of the virus on first responders and frontline medical staff at Silver Hill and other regional medical facilities.
The COVID Resilience Campaign, led by retired Brigadier General Steve Xenakis, M.D. is creating programming that is replicable and scalable and therefore could have much broader use nationwide to keep heroic healthcare workers and first responders resilient in the face of the COVID-19 Crisis.