published on
April 5, 2022

How to support your care home staff's mental health

Amber Ainsworth
posted on
COVID-19: Care Settings

We know the impact that this year has had on the mental health and wellbeing of care home staff.

In a survey carried out with 1100 Florence nurses and carers, 58% said mental health support either isn’t a priority, or inadequate, at their workplace. Our infographic below shows the severity of this in our sector.

In line with this year’s World Mental Health Day, we want to share tips on how to care for your staff’s mental health, particularly during Covid-19.  

Keep talking

Create a safe and supportive environment where staff feel they are able to share how they’re feeling. If a member of staff is feeling overwhelmed, encourage them to bring this up with a nurse in charge or manager. 

You may also consider having a professional mental health practitioner come into the home and offer sessions to nurses and carers on site. This is also something which could be offered virtually outside of staff’s working hours.

If a nurse or carer feels more comfortable discussing how they’re feeling at home with their loved ones then encourage them to do so. As the old saying goes, a problem shared is a problem halved. 

Encourage exercise

It’s important for staff to keep active outside of their daily work duties. Thirty minutes a day helps release endorphins and can help with anxiety. Encourage staff to take regular breaks for fresh air when possible and perhaps a walk.

You may want to consider having a space available for nurses and carers to take part in a virtual class during their break or either side of their shift. Keeping active helps to refocus and refresh your thoughts. 

Mindfulness and meditation

Calming breath techniques have been proven to relieve stress, and can be done anywhere and at any time. Allow staff to take a moment in a quiet space to sit with the breath and their thoughts. Having this time away from daily duties could be invaluable to a nurse or carer who is feeling particularly overwhelmed on shift. 

Apps such as Insight Timer, have a variety of short guided meditations which can be done on a lunch break. Simply sit down with headphones on and close your eyes. Alternatively, mindfulness and meditation could be an activity made available in your care setting, either virtually or facilitated by a professional practitioner. 

Nutrition is nourishment

Physical and mental health are intrinsically linked, therefore any food offered on site should be balanced and healthy. 

Make sure nurses and carers have time for breaks to stay hydrated, eat and refuel. Without food as fuel, focus could falter and mistakes could be made. 

Regular reviews

It’s important to regularly check in on nurses and carers’ mental health as part of the performance review process. If a member of staff is struggling then this could affect their performance. 

Use performance reviews as another opportunity for staff to discuss how they are coping with the pressures and discuss ways in which the home could support them. 

Here to help

If you’re not already working with Florence, and you need long-term staff to help fill your rota gaps, we can help. Book staff to exclusively work with your home and nowhere else.

Get in contact here to find out more and request a demo today.

You may also be interested in:

Keep reading