Positive mental health

The COVID-19 pandemic will have a very significant impact on clinical practice.. RCSI recognises that our healthcare professionals will face many stressful situations during and after this crisis. As you strive to deliver the best possible care for your patients, it is crucial that you look after your own mental and physical well-being.

You may find strategies that worked for you previously continue to be the best approach for you. Whatever your circumstances, we have identified some information and resources that can support you to cope and be your best personal and professional self.

Like the rest of society, healthcare professionals can struggle with depression, anxiety and poor mental health. The current work environments our surgeons and emergency medicine doctors find themselves in may also contribute to high levels of stress. Generally speaking, we find ways to bounce back with little to no assistance; however, if problems persist, we recommend that you take action to restore your well-being. Below we have compiled a list of resources, many of which are free to avail of, that may help you to deal with these situations as they arise.

RTE 'You Ok?' podcast: Dr Eva Doherty speaks about how frontline healthcare workers can manage their own mental health during the pandemic, under sustained stress and pressure. Listen to the podcast in full here

RCSI in collaborated with our colleagues in the Royal College of Physicians of Ireland and the Forum of Irish Postgraduate Training Bodies have created a series of brief videos to support your health and well-being during the current crisis.

Each week we will release a five-minute video from an expert on topics related to stress, mental health and communicating with distressed and very sick patients.

Below is a list of the current and upcoming videos.

Managing acute stress – Ian Robertson's Emeritus professor of TCD and bestselling author of The Stress Test

Watch Managing Acute Stress video

Responding to patients' distress and strong emotions – Eva Doherty, Director of human Factors in Patient Safety, RCSI

Watch the video now

The ABC of coping  – Dr Claire Hayes, Consultant Clinical psychologist to CoMPPAS student support, RCSI

Watch now

How stress can impact doctors during COVID-19 outbreak – Dr Sara O'Byrne, Clinical psychologist and Clinical Director of Treehouse, HSE co-funded practice for trauma-informed services 

Watch now

Psychological reactions in medical professionals to the COVID-19 Pandemic – Dr Justin Brophy, Chairperson, Forum PGTB

Watch now

Emotional intelligence in crises (title TBC) – Hadas Levy, Trainee health and well-being, RCPI 

What to say to your children about COVID (title TBC) – Dr Mark Smyth, Clinical Psychologist and President of the Psychological Society of Ireland

Title TBC –  Prof. Mary Horgan, President RCPI

Call to action for Consultants: Leading your teams in this time of crisis (title TBC) – Prof. Kenneth Mealy, President, RCSI

  • Aware: National organisation providing information, education and support for depression.
  • Alcoholics Anonymous: Support to individuals and families affected by alcohol misuse.
  • Bodywhys: National support group for people affected by eating disorders.
  • Pieta House: Support to those who are contemplating suicide or engaged in self-harm.
  • The 3Ts: Suicide prevention and funds the 1Life suicide helpline.
  • The Samaritans: One-to-one telephone support to people who are emotionally distressed
  • The Money Advice & Budgeting Service (MABS): Money advice service, guiding people through dealing with problem debt.