May is Mental Health Awareness Month. Did you know that nurses report a higher depression rate than many other professions? Nursing is a stressful job, so it’s up to nurse leaders to take action to keep their nursing staff healthy. We understand that stress is always going to be a part of the job, especially in light of our current global health crisis, but a supportive manager is key to keeping up a teams mental health. Here are a few ways to approach mental health with your nurses moving forward.
Offer Counseling Services
When depression leads to suicidal ideation and potentially suicide, we often feel like we’ve had no advanced warning. The person affected may have been very good at hiding their feelings, especially if they were dealing with critically ill patients and needed to maintain a positive face at work. Healthcare employers could provide counseling services such as on site or tele-therapists for their healthcare staff to provide help when it’s needed most.
Crack Down on Bullying
Bullying is present all the time in many work environments, and it’s up to management to ensure that it doesn’t happen in the workplace. Watch for employees who use their physical presence to get what they want or insult others to make a point. You must stop this behavior as soon as you see it.
Watch for Disruptive Behavior
Disruptive behavior at work is loosely defined as any unprofessional behavior including actions like throwing things, threatening others, aggressive behavior, and blatant disregard for policies and procedures established to keep patients and coworkers safe on the job.
Pick Up on Non-Verbal Cues
There are also more subtle non-verbal cues that can provide clues to the mental state of your healthcare workers. These are much harder to spot, but they can be very telling. While bulling and disruptive behavior are much more overt, non-verbal signs aren’t always easy to catch and can often be inconspicuous. Working with trained mental health professionals is the best way to be able to assess employees for these concerns.
Resources for Medical Managers
For more specific information on resources to help your nursing and other medical staff through these difficult situations, it’s important to have access to good resources. Helplines, behavioral health resources, and other tools can help managers better understand what’s happening. It’s also important to have medical manager visibility. Nurses today need to know that management is there for them. Additional resources can be found here.
Are you a healthcare manager?
Call CornerStone Staffing today to see how we can help you with your immediate and long-term staffing needs.