SOM adds to coronavirus return-to-work guidance with mental health toolkit

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SOM, the Society of Occupational Medicine, has published a toolkit to help organisations and staff in managing work-relevant mental health as workplaces reopen following the Covid-19 lockdown.

The Sustaining Work-Relevant Mental Health Post Covid-19 Toolkit follows on from the society’s Returning to the workplace after the Covid-19 lockdown toolkit published in May.

The latest resource is a collaboration with the Royal College of Psychiatrists and Chartered Institute of Personnel and Development.

From the OH side, its authors include SOM president Professor Anne Harriss, OH nurse and chartered psychologist Dr Karen Coomer, Birkbeck University visiting professor of occupational health Dr Gail Kinman, University of the West of Scotland programme lead Marisa Stevenson, and chartered occupational health psychologist Dr Noreen Tehrani.

The other authors are chartered psychologist Dr Roxane Gervais, King’s College professor of defence mental health Dr Neil Greenberg, and SOM strategic clinical adviser Christine Poulter and chief executive Nick Pahl.

The toolkit outlines good practice, including understanding what work-related mental health actually is and how staff can be best supported; guidance on how to provide support and reduce stressors; how to detect mental ill health at team, group, secondary and tertiary level; and pointers to a range of further resources.

The document emphasises it is not intended to be “definitive” but simply a useful resource for practitioners.

As it states: “The toolkit’s objective is to offer focused and practical solutions to reduce, or eliminate, problems which contribute to work-relevant mental ill health. In doing so, the toolkit’s purpose is to both help protect the workforce and the organisation during the post Covid-19 period.”

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