Trade unions and mental health professionals fear that a wave of distress occurs in the nursing staff, and warned that it may have effects also pests that a second wave of the sars coronavirus.
“There are already leaving the boat because they are no longer able, this is a really fear for the result,” said Frederick Brisson, president of the provincial Council of social affairs of the canadian Union of public employees (CUPE), which represents in particular the orderlies.
The bell sound is the same to the Federation interprofessionnelle de la santé du Québec (FIQ), where the calls for help of the nurses are generalized for the last few weeks, a volume of ” never seen “, says one.
“And it’s still there. It is even more worried about the picture post-crisis, it’s going to fall in battle, ” says Linda Lapointe, vice-president of the FIQ.
The death of a woman last week has caused a wave of shock that exacerbated the distress of its members, ” says Frédéric Brisson.
“That’s going to leave traces “
In addition to working with the fear of contracting the virus and infecting patients, the attendants are witnesses of the daily horror.
“We were trained called to care for patients as if it was our own parents, but when we see elderly people hungry, thirsty, in a terrible state, it is certain that it will leave traces psychologically “, is afraid of Mr. Brisson.
He asked the ministry of Health to do more on the psychological level.
“The managers do not think of the human, they see a column of numbers and hours to complete currently. […] They have completely forgotten the psychological support “, he says.
In the office of the minister of Health, Danielle McCann, we limit ourselves to say that it is “actively working” on the folder.
However, experts insist on the urgency of prevention in mental health before we ” hit a wall “.
The neuropsychologist Chantal Trottier says it is concerned for the health network, fully supported on its “guardian angels” that we can’t afford to lose in the current context.
“There is a groundswell of requests for assistance to provide. When the pressure goes down, the problems of depression, mental health will happen, ” believes the expert, recalling that the staff, although trained, is not accustomed to such horrors.
The Federation of professional attendant(s)to the beneficiaries of the Québec (FPBQ) draws the parallel with a deployment to the front in time of war that it is necessary to avoid prolonging.
“The adrenaline in the short term, it sharpens the senses, but in the long-term exposure to a stress high, and events such as those that we live can lead to a post-traumatic shock,” insists Michel Lemelin, director general of the organization, which calls on the government to give enough of time of respite to employees.
Of CIUSSS organize themselves to help their world
In the absence of having a clear plan of action of the department for the psychological health of employees who face the COVID-19, some CIUSSS have taken things in hand, like the one in the West Island of Montréal, which has mobilized 150 professionals to help its troops.
The project was set on foot by Dr. Gustavo Turecki, head of psychiatry at the CIUSSS of the West-of-the-Island-of-Montreal. The death of a woman at this place last week was the trigger.
“You feel the pressure mounting, it was necessary to help people to be able to continue to do their job,” says the doctor.
One hundred and fifty workers specializing in mental health, psychologists, physicians, social workers, rotating through their usual tasks.
They will listen to the health personnel who have need, by phone or virtually.
The initiative will help to complete the ” long marathon “, believes the expert.
“Mental health is often overlooked, but here, it is the time to be aware that it is essential to ensure that our people continue to be in that position in the future,” insists Dr. Turecki.
On the side of the CIUSSS of the Capital–National, this is a crisis line that has been put in place to support staff. Between 24 march and 20 April, nearly 100 calls that have been recorded.
“We have four psychosocial workers in responding to the calls and the support line will be maintained for the whole of the crisis “, explains Marie-Bhavani Olivier, assistant to the executive director of multi-disciplinary services of the CIUSSS, ensuring that a follow up will also be offered after the crisis. “This will actually be another phase in the psycho-social level. “
Attuned to the needs
The CIUSSS also remains on the lookout for needs that would declare during the crisis. The organization says it is open to revising its offer, if necessary.
“It responds according to how it all unfolds. All of the measures currently in place seems to be a good answer, but it must be flexible in there, ” says Ms. Olivier, who added that the usual programs of assistance to employees are obviously still in place.