ABOUT US

The COVID Trauma Response Working Group has been formed to help coordinate trauma-informed responses to the COVID outbreak. We are made of psychological trauma specialists, coordinators of the psychosocial response to trauma and wellbeing leads at NHS Trusts. The working group is being coordinated by staff at University College London and the Traumatic Stress Clinic at Camden and Islington NHS Trust. We are very grateful to our clinical and scientific colleagues in other NHS trusts and universities who are contributing to this work. We hope that this work be helpful to our colleagues and their patients affected by COVID.

Our trauma expert clinical academic panel includes 

- Dr Michael Bloomfield, UCL and the Traumatic Stress Clinic

- Dr Talya Greene, UCL and University of Haifa

- Dr Jo Billings, UCL and the Foreign & Commonwealth Office

- Dr Mary Robertson, the Traumatic Stress Clinic

- Prof Chris Brewin, UCL 

- Dr Nick Grey, Sussex Partnership NHS Foundation Trust and University of Sussex

- Dr Sharif El-Leithy, South West London and St George's Mental Health NHS Trust

-Dr Deborah Lee, Berkshire Healthcare NHS Foundation Trust.

-Dr Helen Kennerley, Oxford Cognitive Therapy Centre and University of Oxford.

-Dr Idit Albert, South London & Maudsley NHS Trust and Kings College London

-Dr Dominic Murphy, President of the UK Psychological Trauma Society

Our Traumatic Stress Clinic specialist clinicians include:

Dr Jocelyn Blumberg

Dr Kim Ehntholt

Dr Chloe Gerskowitch

Dr Julia Gillard

Dr Hamodi Kayal

Dr Timothy Kember

Dr Laura Kemmis

Dr Livia Ottisova

Dr Rosanna Philpott

Dr Eileen Walsh

Our wellbeing expert group include:

Dr Lisa Monaghan, University College Hospitals NHS Trust

Dr Sarah Lunn, Whittington Health NHS Trust and Camden & Islington 

NHS Foundation Trust

Dr Mari Campbell, Royal Free London NHS Foundation Trust

Dr Bev Flint, Camden & Islington NHS Foundation Trust

 

COORDINATING THE RESPONSE

It is essential that the psychological response to the COVID outbreak is coordinated, trauma-informed and evidence-based. We will be posting information and resources on this website.

 

COPING WITH STRESS

Advice for hospital staff during the COVID pandemic:


You are doing really important and difficult work. Over the coming days and weeks you will probably find that there are times when you feel anxious, stressed, scared, sad, overwhelmed, angry, guilty, helpless or even numb. These are all normal responses to an extremely challenging situation.
 
You may experience different emotions at different stages of the pandemic. For example, early on, you might feel anxious thinking about what could happen or that you are in a heightened state of “readiness”. At the peak phases you may experience surges of adrenaline. Over time you may feel more like you are “running on empty”.
 
There may be times when you feel guilty about difficult decisions that you have to make. You may not feel any of these things. There may be times when you feel you are coping well and times you feel that you are coping less well. Everyone is different, and everyone will experience different emotions at different times.
 
There are things that you can do to help you take care of yourself. Give yourself permission to take regular breaks during your shifts. It is important to try to eat, drink and sleep properly. Try to think about and use strategies that have helped you in the past to cope with stressful situations. Make sure that you try to take some time out between shifts, slow down and bring levels of arousal back to normal. It is being responsible, not selfish, to look after yourself.
 
Stay in touch with your friends and family – even if you can’t see them in person, you can have video and phone calls. Engage in physical activity. Maintain a routine as much as you can. Plan regular activities that help you feel good. Avoid using unhelpful coping strategies like smoking, alcohol or other drugs. Try to limit the time you spend watching, reading or listening to the news. Spend time deliberately engaging with tasks that take your mind away from the current crisis.
 
If you feel overwhelmed, know that there are ways to get support. Talk to your colleagues, your manager, or someone else that you trust about how you are feeling. You are not alone in this situation – your colleagues are likely to be experiencing similar things to you, and you can support each other. Be compassionate to yourself and others. It is OK to say you are not OK.
 
Focus on what is in your control. Pay attention to things that are going well when you can. Share and celebrate the successes or small wins. Remember this is a marathon, not a sprint. Even though this is a marathon, it will not last forever and the epidemic will end.
 
Guidance produced by the COVID trauma working group, an expert group of psychological trauma specialists based at UCL, the Traumatic Stress Clinic, and other leading trauma centres and universities www.traumagroup.org 28/03/2020

Multilingual advice for hospital staff during the COVID pandemic.

Coping with stress - Advice in English 

التّعامل مع التّوتُّر: توصيّات للعاملين في المستشفيات أثناء وباء كوڤد19

Stressbewältigung -  Beratung auf Deutsch

Gestionar el estrés -Consejos en Español

Gérer votre stress - Conseils en Français

Gestire lo stress - Consigli in Italiano

Como lidar com o stress - Conselhos em Português

 

OUR RESEARCH

Our current programme of research seeks to explore the impact of working during the COVID-19 pandemic on frontline healthcare workers and their experiences and views about psychosocial support that they have been offered or used.

We would like to hear from you if you are a healthcare worker such as a nurse, doctor, ambulance worker, receptionist, cleaner, porter, manager, radiographer, physiotherapist, pharmacist, or anyone working in healthcare involved in supporting patients during COVID-19 in the UK.

There are three components to our current study:

  1. Frontline-COVID Survey. This involves a 10-15 minute online survey now, and monthly 10-minute follow up online surveys for the next 6 months. The findings will be used to help develop ways to support healthcare workers psychologically during and after this pandemic. To take part please click here Frontline-COVID Survey.

  2. Interviews with frontline workers. If you are a frontline worker from any of the above groups, and willing to talk in more detail about your experiences and views, we would like to invite you to take part in a 30-40 minute, one off, one to one remote interview. If you are interested in taking part, please email Dr Jo Billings on j.billings@ucl.ac.uk.

  3. Interviews with mental health workers. We are also interested in hearing about the experiences and views of mental health workers who have been tasked with providing support to frontline healthcare workers. If you are willing to take part in a 30-40- minute, one off, one to one remote interview, please email Dr Jo Billings on j.billings@ucl.ac.uk.

This research has been approved by the UCL Research Ethics Committee – Registered Project ID: 8341/001


Research Updates:

  • 27/05/2020: Frontline-COVID Survey launched.

 
 

EXTERNAL RESOURCES

Useful evidence-based resources for clinicians coordinating psychosocial responses to COVID

General Guidance:

For Planners & Organisations:

For Health & Social Care Workers:​


For COVID19 Patients:​

 
Keyboard and Mouse
 
 

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