This report reviews mental health policy recommendations to support care workers during COVID-19, based on evidence from large-scale traumatic events and current response in select countries.
- The need to support care worker mental health is identified using evidence following prior large-scale traumatic events.
- Care workers with mental health problems during COVID-19 should be identified and connected to support services as early as possible.
- Summary of mental health policy response to support care workers in Australia and China.
- Policy recommendations to support the mental health of care workers include the use of digital technologies, creating a supportive working environment, debriefing adverse events, mental health first aid training, and counselling.
- The recovery approach may be used for care workers to continue employment or return to work with proper support.
- Implementation challenges in mental health policy are due to the integrated nature of mental health, and traditionally-segmented nature of funding resulting in the complications related to ‘delayed pay-off’, ‘transmitted pay-off’, and ‘silo mismatch’.
- Mental health policies must be locally tailored to the needs of care workers, which will vary according to the design of health and social care systems.