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, wellbeing leads at NHS Trusts and people with lived experience of psychological trauma. 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 Lorna Fortune, North Middlesex Hospital NHS Trust and Barnet Enfield & Haringey NHS 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.

 
 

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.

Pre-prints (not yet peer-reviewed):

Research Updates:​

  • Frontline-COVID Survey: Over 1,200 frontline health and social care staff completed our baseline survey. The first follow up phase has now been completed by over 470 frontline workers. We hope to make our initial findings available as soon as possible. 

  • Interviews with frontline workers: We have completed in-depth interviews with 25 frontline health and social care workers from across the UK exploring their experiences and views about support. We will be sharing our findings very soon.

  • Interviews with mental health workers: We have completed in-depth interviews with 28 mental health practitioners who have been working to support frontline workers throughout the pandemic, exploring their own experiences, views and needs during the pandemic. We will be sharing our findings very soon.


Thank you to everyone who has taken part and been involved in this crucial research!

 

OUR GUIDANCE

Our guidance is collated from research, best practice guidelines and expert clinical opinion. Our guidance is not an exhaustive list of recommendations but is intended to inform planners, managers, team leaders, and clinicians of the organisational and psychological processes which are likely to be helpful, or unhelpful, in supporting survivors during and after the COVID pandemic.

Our Mission:

Clinical Guidelines:

For Planners & Organisations:

 

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

 

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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