Summary Congress March 12th 2021

Protecting mental health and wellbeing at high risk jobs, such as rescue workers, health care workers

  • Support and back cover of executives and colleagues is one of the most important preventative actions against the development of mental health complaints including PTSD
  • In a demanding context, specific leadership is required focussed on collaboration, support, appreciation, clarity, protection and hardiness (what did we contribute, no matter how small)
  • Training of executives in effective leadership towards groups in demanding work connected to collegiate buddy support is more effective than preventative training
  • Early notice on collegial level, collegiate buddy support and if needed forehanded support is more effective than medical care later. Overall, medical care has been found scarcely.
  • Fear for stigma by executives and colleagues – the estimation that mental support is a sign of weakness is the foremost obstacle to discuss problems and ask for support
  • The impact of (stacking of) physical threatening, without it actually happening is being underestimated. It requires constant alertness of an employee.
  • Likewise, indirect exposure to repeated or extreme confrontation with awful stimuli or circumstances
  • It is of importance to define a concrete amount of years working in the frontlines
  • It is relevant to regularly plan recovery time at work in order to let people recover in a natural way and to protect them against the impact of stacked critical incidents, as well to give them space for their private life
  • It is significant that executives are involved in making a realistic schedule in order to create space for private life as well. An indirect stress signal is that work life is deducting private life to endure the work load. It can eventually lead to reduction of effectiveness in life tasks, causing these life tasks to reduced function of a buffer
  • The most important risk factors for development of mental health issues, including PTSD is a lack of social support and a raised amount of experience of stress in life. These factors are of greater influence than personality traits, a tough childhood, earlier traumas, etc.
  • The aim is too much focussed on care right after a critical incident. However, natural recovery needs time and support. It more important for executives and buddies to be involved on the long run with positive attention and support. Research on natural recovery shows that a period of 2,5 months to a year is necessary in order to reduce (mental) health problems
  • Consequences of exposure to physical violence in the career needs more underlined. The impact of repeated forces on the head and body have been brought to attention in American football. An example of this is acquired brain injury, pain, musculoskeletal system and heart problems. Physical issues can be left unnoticed as a result of over psychologising. In case of exposure to violence and physical risks, it is recommended to always include a physical screening in the psychological treatment. Additionally, occupational physicians are recommended to include these screenings in their consults.

Accreditation for the online international congress has been requested for the following associations.

  • FGzPt
  • Quality Register V&V and Register Care Professionals
  • NIP A&O | A&G
  • Social Medicine (AbSg)
  • Registerplein Register GGZ-agogen, Register Social Work, Register Social Workers
  • NVvA

After an association approves the accreditation the congress will be published on their website. Currently accreditation has been approved by the following associations:

  • FGzPt (7 points)
  • V&V Quality Register and Register Care Professionals (6 points)
  • LV POH-GGZ (6 points)
  • Registerplein Register GGZ-agogen, Register Social work, Register Social Workers (6 points)
  • NVvA (3 points)
  • ABSG (6 points)
  • NIP A&O (6 points)

When registering, please mention the name and BIG registration (if applicable) you are registered with at the professional association. This contributes to quickly receiving your points. At the NVvA you have to enter your points yourself.

At the end of the congress, proof of participation will be sent to each participant.

The participant who wants to claim the points awarded by the accrediting association is requested to complete the questionnaire that will be shared via chat after the end of the lecture and workshop. On this form you also need to note the professional group and the corresponding BIG number. This information is necessary to have the points awarded by the relevant association.