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Sure, a global pandemic can create serious outcomes financially, but what about the effect on your mental health? We partnered with Bower Place, experts in the fields of mental health, development, psychology and well-being to explain the effects in this article.
What is the issue/issues created by COVID-19?
“It’s in the dead of night when it gets me… what if?”. These are the words of a client who, like all of us, is facing the fear of the invisible enemy, COVID-19. It’s the “what ifs?” that are so distressing. What if my elderly parents get sick? What if I lose my job? What if my business fails? What if the schools close and my children are at home alone? What if I can’t pay my rent? What if? What if, what if? This level of distress indicates the need for expert help.
Why is it an issue?
It’s only natural that the declaration of a global pandemic reasonably increases everyone’s stress and anxiety, but it is crucial that we manage ourselves and our key relationships at home and work during this time. Being frightened increases the risk of family conflict and domestic violence as fear and a loss of control translates into anger.
At work, staff may become immobilised and unproductive at a time where we need to be increasingly dextrous, creative and supportive of each other. Those working in the human services field – psychology, social work, accounting and law – may find themselves carrying a double burden. Their clients rely on them for clear, unequivocal guidance, support and advice, and as this demand from clients grows considerably, so does the impact on their own well-being.
What can be done?
Now is the time to help each other with kindness, calm, consistency and clarity. It is also a time for both clients and their service providers to get support from skilled professionals. Professionals are highly skilled in their chosen field, be it medicine, law or accounting, but responding to the emotional demands of their clients is a completely different challenge. They may also feel overwhelmed by those demands.
Helping others with emotional struggles requires specialist expertise, just like medical issues or legal problems. It involves managing complex situations and the ability to assess the challenges faced by individuals and groups (family, team, colleagues). It requires a solid understanding of the impact the current health crisis has on individuals, families and the work contexts. It must also be done in a way that protects the health and well-being of all parties.
What is Bower Place doing to assist?
Bower Place has a 33-year history of providing expert professional help to individuals, couples, families and organisations struggling with personal, relational and social difficulties. In response to the pandemic, we have organised our staff into expert teams to respond to each client’s need in their unique context.
The need may be for direct services to clients, or to those who are providing other forms of care.
All staff have access to the most recent and secure technology so we can continue to offer the highest level of therapeutic services online, in a safe and strictly confidential environment.
We continue to offer high-quality training and professional development to colleagues, business leaders, teams and organisations as online supervision and training. Input can be tailored to the specific needs of the individual practitioner, team or workgroup to help them work more effectively with their client group while remaining effective and functional.
Kerri Stutley, Tumby Bay Foodland
Phillip Cross, Royce Cross Agencies