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Examining Two Psychosocial Factors in Long-Term Care During the COVID-19 Pandemic : Policy Brief

Guiding questions in the brief:

  • What barriers and facilitators support psychological self-care and protection from moral distress for long-term care workers and their organizations?
  • How has the pandemic impacted these workers and the organizations in relation to the barriers and facilitators identified?

Organizations support psychological self-care when they encourage staff to care for their own psychological health and safety. This psychosocial factor can include paid sick leave, protected break times, designated break spaces, paid education and learning opportunities, or replacement staff to enable self-care.

They protect staff from moral distress when they create an environment that lets workers do their work with a sense of integrity (while being supported by their professional bodies, employer, and peers). Examples include dedicated staff and resources for wellness, de-briefing sessions, and clearly defined and consistently followed policies and protocols.

Support for psychological self-care and protection from moral distress build on the 13 psychosocial factors identified in the National Standard of Canada for Psychological Health and Safety in the Workplace. Since its 2013 publication, organizations have been using the Standard as a guide for promoting mental health and preventing psychological harm at work.

This report presents policy change considerations that can better support the psychological well-being of health-care professionals in Canada’s long-term care sector.

This project supplements a larger, national exploration that included all health-care workers and various types of health-care workplaces, entitled Exploring Two Psychosocial Factors in Health-Care: Support for Psychological Self-Care and Protection From Moral Distress in the Workplace: Facilitators and Barriers.

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