Keeping Well

Helping others when they are most in need can not only be physically demanding, but emotionally demanding too.  Working within healthcare you will see and experience distressing events and some may even be within your own local community. Resilience is really important when responding to emergencies in order to help you keep well.

This section is dedicated to helping you find resources to help you stay well and how to get support when you need it.

The Lifelines Scotland Project supports the health and well-being of all Emergency Responders in Scotland, and provides information for family and friends. Visit Lifelines Scotland website for more information.

Podcasts

Andy Elwood – It’s Good to Talk

Andy ElwoodAndy is an experienced paramedic who predominately worked on search and rescue helicopters, where he encountered many experiences that had a significant effect on his mental health. In this podcast he discusses his journey through PTSD which led him to head up a mental health first aid campaign, Andy’s Landie, designed to stamp out the stigma of mental health issues and improve the well-being of those in the emergency services and responder community.

Andy talks about his challenges and motivators, and gives really useful information on developing coping strategies and listening skills. He is optimistic that the barriers to discussing mental health are receding – the overall message is its good to talk!

Top tips from this podcast:
  • Put your own oxygen mask on first- give yourself some focus
  • Use the ‘5 a day’ for Mental Health (connect, be active, mindfulness, keep learning, give)
  • It is OK to talk…
Resources related to this podcast:

Find out more at www.AndyElwood.com

5-a-day for #mentalstrength blog – https://www.andyelwood.com/2020/05/01/lockdown-survival-kit/

Other resources

http://lifelinesscotland.org/

https://www.nhsinform.scot/healthy-living/mental-wellbeing

https://breathingspace.scot

http://www.promis.scot

Listen to Andy’s podcast below.

Andy Elwood - It's Good to Talk
/

Angela Lewis – Peer Support and Debriefing

Angela Lewis

This week’s podcast from BASICS Scotland explores the links between post incident support and crew resource management with Angela Lewis. Angela explains the operational improvements that are achievable when organisations develop a menu of different types of support for their personnel. She also looks at the problems with the “can do” mentality that is prevalent in those who work in pre hospital emergency care.

 

Key points from this podcast:
  • Self-care is not selfish and is very important to prioritise
  • Routine is good
  • Keep your social connections, as social support is very important
Resources related to this podcast:

The Sleep Council Website – www.sleepcouncil.org.uk

National Wellbeing Hub – www.promis.scot

LifeLines Scotland Website – www.lifelinesscotland.org

International Critical Incident Stress Foundation – www.icisf.org

PSA Limited Website – www.psa-ltd.com

Listen to Angela’s podcast below.

Angela Lewis - Peer Support and Debriefing
/

Lisa Artis – The importance of Sleep

Lisa ArtisLisa Artis discusses sleep: the importance of it, the differences in individuals when it comes to the ability to have a good, restful sleep, as well as busting myths around caffeine!

 

 

 

 

Key points from this podcast:
  • Make the time for a wind down routine, even if it is just for 30 mins before bed.  Use this time wisely to do something that is relaxing for you
  • Write down any worries or thoughts before bed time, this helps to clear the mind before sleep
  • Aim for a cool, quite, uncluttered, dark bedroom space with a good quality bed
Resources related to this podcast:

The Sleep Council – https://sleepcouncil.org.uk/

Listen to Lisa’s podcast below

Lisa Artis - The importance of Sleep
/

David Whalley – Big incidents, the effects and how we can look after ourselves

David Whalley

David “Heavy” Whalley with his plethora of civilian and military search and rescue experience chats us through the effects events such as the Lockerbie disaster has had on him.  He discusses the culture and attitude change to the effects these incidents have on the responder, what to look for and how to create healthy coping systems and networks.

 

Key points from this podcast:
  • Look after your team and know and look out for the signs that things are not going so well
  • Its good to talk, never be ashamed to talk. 
  • Look after your families
Resources related to this podcast:

Personal Website – www.heavywhalley.com

Listen to David’s podcast below.

David Whalley - Big incidents, the effects and how we can look after ourselves
/

Joel Symonds – The role of humour in pre-hospital emergency care

Joel Symonds talks us through humour in the prehospital care arena, when it is appropriate to use and when humour is not appropriate but perhaps most poignantly why it is important and its use in emotionally protecting responders and its role in mental resilience.

Top 3 Points from this podcast:
  • Reflect on and acknowledge that the humour that we use is a really powerful tool and it keeps us together as a tribe, keeps us safe and is a really strong protective factor and we should be careful about being so embarrassed about it that we don’t allow it to come to the fore.
  • Think about where and who the audience is when using this type of humour and make sure it is in a safe environment where the audience and environment are appropriate where it can’t be interpreted as being cruel or derogatory or offensive and with people who know you well enough that they know your intentions.
  • If a colleague cracks a joke about a job that sounds pretty extreme or if they say something that you absolutely would not want to hear in the wrong arena, rather than thinking how unprofessional this is, or trying to distance yourself from it, instead find a quiet moment just to catch up with them and check that they are ok and use it as a channel to open conversations.

Listen to Joel’s podcast below.

Joel Symonds - The role of humour in pre-hospital emergency care
/

Audra Starkey – The healthy shift worker

Audra, based in Brisbane, Australia and is a specialist in nutrition and wellbeing and her focus is on shift work, how it affects you and how you can look after yourself better while working shifts.

 

Top 3 Points from this podcast:
  • Prioritise your sleep, this is critically important.
  • For each meal think?  Is there a serving of protein, healthy fats, complex carbohydrates and veggies, as you want a macro nutrient balanced meal to help reduce the blood sugar spikes.
  • Eat minimally during the night time, don’t eat continuously.  At night your body doesn’t function as well as during the day.
Resources related to this podcast:

www.healthyshiftworker.com

Listen to Audra’s podcast below.

Audra Starkey - The healthy shift worker
/

Other resources

Lifeline Scotland – http://lifelines.scot/

NHS Inform Mental Wellbeing – https://www.nhsinform.scot/healthy-living/mental-wellbeing

Breathing Space –  https://breathingspace.scot

National Wellbeing Hub – www.promis.scot

International Critical Incident Stress Foundation – www.icisf.org

PSA Limited Website – www.psa-ltd.com

The Sleep Council Website – www.sleepcouncil.org.uk