Mental health at the frontline of the pandemic: health workforce stress management

18 October 2022

Overview

The series ‘Health Management in action: fostering health systems’ resilience’ includes ten episodes that present best practices, case studies, practical examples and implementable solutions to improve health systems preparedness and rapid response to health threats.

Episode 6 – Mental health at the frontline of the pandemic: stress management in the health workforce

During the COVID-19 pandemic, healthcare workers were at the frontline of health systems in Europe, putting their own lives and safety at risk. Awareness grew of the need and importance to protect their mental and physical health. The needs of healthcare workers to effectively manage stress and build up resilience are complex and multi-faceted and will change based on the situation. The webinar will highlight proven effective interventions to protect the mental health of essential healthcare workers. Speakers will elaborate on commitments to support mental health workforce and indicate further required actions.

SPEAKERS

Prof Dr Walter Sermeus
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Prof Dr Walter Sermeus

Prof Dr Walter Sermeus

Prof. Walter Sermeus is Professor of Healthcare Management at the Leuven Institute for Healthcare Policy, University of Leuven KU Leuven, Belgium. He is Program Director of the Master in Health Care Policy & Management and the Frances Bloomberg International Distinguished Visiting Professor, University of Toronto, Canada in 2015-16. He holds a PhD in Public Health, a MSc in Biostatistics, a MSc in Healthcare Management and a Nursing Sciences and a BA in Nursing. He was European Coordinator of the EU-FP7 RN4CAST-project, Nurse Forecasting in Europe 2009-2011. He is the member of the European Academy of Nursing Science (EANS) and advising World Health Organization, European Union and European associations in Human Resources in Health. Prof. Sermeus is also Head of the KU Leuven WHO CC on Human Resources for Health Research & Policy.

Mr Patrick Focken
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Mr Patrick Focken

Mr Patrick Focken

Mr Patrick Focken is the Coordinator of the Magnet4Europe initiative at the Hospital Bremerhaven-Reinkenheide in Germany.

Materials

Summary report

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This webinar is co-funded by the EU4Health Programme of the European Union under Grant Agreement no. 101082904. Views and opinions are of the speakers and authors only and do not necessarily reflect those of the European Union or HADEA. Neither the European Union nor HADEA can be held responsible for them.

What our Members say

I have been active in EHMA since the first years of the '90s and I have seen its evolution from a small association of members interested in sharing knowledge on health management practices to the current status of reference and advisory key player for EU, health systems and organisations, stakeholders associations, industry and universities. EHMA is now a unique knowledge hub, policy advisor, community of practice and network of best in class organisations involved in health policy and management. A place where health managers can build their competences, policy-makers and stakeholder associations envision how to implement and sustain change through health management, industry leaders understand how to engage more effectively with health organisations and systems. The right place to nurture and grow health management capabilities and capacity for every stakeholder of health systems.

Prof. Federico Lega, University of Milan, Italy

Health management has a crucial function in shaping public health and health system challenges. The Medical University of Varna, Bulgaria had success in collaborating with EHMA on EU-funded projects that has resourced us to create new health management competencies for the future workforce. In addition to all classical definitions, health management is a science dealing with individuals, groups, and society at large. It is an art contributing to the beauty of our lives and an interactive communication process at all levels of institutions and human energy. I have also had the pleasure to chair the South Eastern European Special Interest Group which gives members a space to discuss and tools to address how health systems are managed in our regions.

Prof. Todorka Kostadinova, Medical University of Varna, Bulgaria

I enjoy the high level of interaction and engagement in EHMA’s activities, in particular during the annual conference where the panel discussions are rich and well prepared. As a hospital manager and professor of health management, EHMA motivates and inspires me to be creative. You go back home feeling energised from seeing old friends and making new connections, as well as being convinced of serving as EHMA’s ambassador. It’s a strong feeling of interdisciplinary engagement, but it also feels like being part of family-like community.

Prof. Sandra C. Buttigieg, University of Malta, Malta

EHMA is a pre-eminent organisation for everyone working in planning, managing and delivering health services across Europe. As a long standing member of EHMA I have always been impressed by the vibrant community of managers, researchers and academics it has created and by the many opportunities for sharing knowledge and funding opportunities it has brought to its members. Its international scope is impressive and its impact is often felt in management and research across European and national health systems.

Prof. Axel Kaehne, Edge Hill University, UK

Health workforce has become more essential in operating, managing and maintaining health systems lately, particularly in crisis and emergency situations. European healthcare professions and the workforce need to be high on the agenda of managers and decision makers. The Health Services Management Training Centre, Semmelweis University in Hungary is a longstanding EHMA member, because it connects us with collaborators and experts, with whom we can have complex debates, from whom we can learn and at the end find solutions in various challenging fields of healthcare management.

Dr Eszter Kovács, Health Services Management Training Centre, Semmelweis University, Hungary

As a hospital administrator and health management professor, I see on a daily basis that the healthcare challenges require talented and skilled managers to transform it. the EHMA membership has been beneficial to bring healthcare management research and education to the demanding healthcare services world, promoting healthcare management competencies and knowledge creation.

Dr Alexandre Lourenco, APAH - Association of Portuguese Hospital Managers, Portugal

Many healthcare systems in Europe and beyond are facing similar challenges which require innovative and creative solutions. EHMA’s annual conference, webinars, Programme Directors’ group and other activities and resources provide incredible opportunities for networking, connecting and sharing experiences. A distinct feature of EHMA is the diversity of members with representation from many countries, sectors and different communities of practice – academic, policy-makers, practitioners, managers, leaders and students. The annual conference is a highlight in the calendar year, offering a friendly, fun and learningful environment for emerging and established members to engage, collaborate and meet up with old and new friends. I am proud to be a member of the EHMA Board.

Prof. Ann Mahon, University of Manchester, UK

Society evolution, pandemics and ageing modify health needs. So, health policies and services are to change dramatically. EHMA, through webinars, workshops and annual conference provides an excellent insight to a professional changing world, favouring closeness to management innovation and the protagonists of these changes. As a primary care services’ manager, participating in EHMA activities is really worth it and allows to involve oneself in the innovation processes.

Dr Antoni Peris Grao, Consorci Castelldefels Agents de Salut (CASAP), Spain