Blog/Your Mental Health is Important
October 10th is World Mental Health Day, which highlights mental health education, awareness, and advocacy. The mental health of healthcare workers is of the utmost importance. As a result of the heightened stress healthcare professionals have endured in the last few years, there’s an increased risk for mental health issues like anxiety, depression, and post-traumatic stress. While traveling as a healthcare professional may feel isolating and lonely at times, it’s important to understand that you are not alone, and help is available and accessible through multiple channels.
Here are several benefits you can take advantage of as a travel nurse to make sure you’re taking care of and supporting your mental health while on (and off) assignment.
Employee Assistance Programs
Employee Assistance Programs (EAPs) offer professional assistance with personal, family, finance, and work struggles; often at no cost to the employee. Among a variety of other benefits, these programs provide free telehealth therapy sessions, in-person access to behavioral health professionals, and substance abuse counselors.
Some travel companies are taking the extra step to make sure their travelers are well taken care of through EAP benefits. As a Trustaff Employee, our travelers have access to many EAPs including telephone consults and counseling for issues of any kind through various providers. Many of these resources are available to all travelers regardless of if you are on agency health insurance.
There’s a lot your company can do to help support and protect your mental health, as well as various other benefits for career advancement, health and wellness programs, career coaching, financial planning, etc. Trustaff is proud to offer all of the above through our ACT Program. Check with your agency to see if they offer similar benefits.
Walk, work, or run it out
According to the Anxiety & Depression Association of America (ADAA.org), even just five minutes of aerobic exercise can help lower cortisol, one of the primary hormones responsible for elevated levels of stress in the body. Utilizing fitness programs, either on your own, through a gym, or through a virtual community will encourage you to get moving and may improve your mental health and emotional well-being.
Many companies offer assistance when it comes to staying fit or getting a workout in. Discounts to many 24-hour fitness facilities are usually a must when it comes to perks and benefits companies can offer to their travelers. Trustaff currently offers a discount to Planet Fitness which is a chain available in most areas all over the US.
If the gym isn’t your thing, something as small as a 15-minute stroll or run through a local park or around your current housing can boost your mental state, clear your mind and get some much-needed fresh air after a long shift in your facility.
Exercising physically is important, but exercising your mind through meditation is also a good way to boost your mental health. Check out some apps you can download to your phone like, Calm and Headspace to get your mental workout in for the day.
Surround yourself with support
Long before the pandemic, healthcare professionals experienced an unprecedented amount of burnout, depression, workplace stress, and anxiety. Our goal is to empower our travelers to be proactive about their mental health by destigmatizing mental illness and providing ongoing support and resources through their current careers and beyond.
Our healthcare heroes are our lifeline, and we are here to support you every step of the way. Take care of yourself and be well. We hope these mental support tips and suggestions are helpful while navigating your health through your assignments and career.
• Crisis Text Line – Text HOME to 741741 to reach a Crisis Counselor
• National Suicide Prevention Hotline – 800-273-8255
• NAMI HelpLine – 1-800-950-6264 or firstname.lastname@example.org