A new online diary has been developed to help health and care staff monitor changes in their wellbeing during the pandemic and show where individuals can access help if needed.
My Wellbeing Diary is a self-help tool that asks users working in the health and care sectors about various aspects of their feelings every time they log on. It clearly maps their responses over time to show any changes in their physical or mental health, whether it’s a decline or an improvement.
It has been co-produced by Northumbria University and the Regional Integrated Care System to help healthcare staff in North East and North Cumbria cope with immense work pressures during the Covid-19 pandemic.
The newspaper invites NHS and carers to answer questions about their physical, emotional and mental well-being, sleep quality, alcohol and drug use and their feelings about problems or situations , to help them identify changes in their well-being over time.
It points to self-help resources and additional support to help them take care of their health. Tracking their wellbeing in this way can also help people identify the things in their lives that help maintain their health and mood.
The diary can be used by people working in health and care to monitor their own personal well-being, as well as by NHS and care sector employers who want to proactively support their staff. All data entered into the tool by employees is anonymous and is aggregated to enable organizations to monitor general wellness patterns within their company, such as increased stress levels in certain areas at different times. .
The diary was developed to an NHS specification by Dr Petia Sice and Dr Garry Elvin, wellbeing informatics experts in the Department of Computing and Information Science at Northumbria and North East University and North Cumbria Integrated Care System.
Angela Kennedy, Mental Health Manager at the North of England Clinical Network, explained: ‘We know this is the most difficult time the NHS has ever seen, and it could have adverse consequences for staff. . Self-reflection via journaling is a proven way to improve well-being. NHS-England is concerned that our staff are at risk of burnout and fatigue, and even post-traumatic stress disorder in some cases.
“We wanted to do something to give people the power to monitor how they’re doing over time, it wasn’t about ‘mental illness’ and noticing any patterns that might emerge. From there, we can provide them with information about additional support they can access on their own. When used within organizations, we can assess how cohorts of staff are feeling and provide appropriate support to the whole group or target specific issues that emerge from data over time.
Dr. Petia Sice added: “We have developed a model and a wellness assessment tool that uses a self-directed contemplative approach to examine physical, emotional and relational awareness in the present moment.
“Through previous work with Angela and our NHS partners, we were able to work together to further develop the tool to help users identify and understand patterns in a number of aspects of their health.”
Health and care service staff wishing to find out more about the journal can contact [email protected] for more information.