SIPTU’s Health Division Supports Healthcare Workers and Grief Campaign
SIPTU’s Health Division is supporting a HSE and Irish Hospice Foundation campaign aimed at supporting all healthcare workers experiencing grief, bereavement, and loss.
The COVID-19 pandemic caused a new and difficult experience for many healthcare workers who may have been exposed to more death, illness, and distress than usual in the workplace. The campaign notes that healthcare workers are an important consideration for bereavement supports as numerous facets of their work, such as exposure to deaths of patients and colleagues, can make them vulnerable to cumulative grief. It also acknowledges that prolonged exposure to loss can lead to physical and psychological burnout.
Research suggests that a supportive and understanding workplace environment can help those dealing with bereavement in the workplace. This campaign is also encouraging senior managers to be particularly aware of the impact of grief on employees and how they can support their staff with personal and professional grief.
The HSE has published guidance on dealing with grief as a healthcare worker which is available here. They have also published videos in a range of languages which are available online.
HSE workers are reminded that the HSE Employee Assistance Programme (EAP) is available on 0818 327 327 if they need to speak to someone who can help. This is a free and confidential service.
Healthcare workers outside of the HSE can use their own EAP service, if available, or call the IHF Bereavement Support Line on 1800 80 70 77 (Monday to Friday, from 10am to 1pm) for support.