Social worker diagnosed with PTSD discusses importance of mental health in the workplace

HARRISONBURG, Va. (WHSV) – Abigail Fernald was identified with PTSD, after engaged on the COVID unit in a hospital for almost a yr.

“It took to the center of February to simply know that my signs have been sufficient, that I had sort of reached my restrict,” Fernald stated.

Abigail began her job a social employee in March, simply two weeks earlier than COVID hit. She defined there being a basic feeling of tension and nobody understanding what to anticipate. These emotions solely heightened as instances continued to surge by means of the vacation season.

“You sort of noticed workers speaking extra about having nightmares, speaking about having crying spells, feeling burnt out and exhausted,” Fernald stated.

After the vacation surge, these emotions began to set in, making Fernald understand the trauma she skilled working throughout the COVID unit.

“I really went to the emergency room with suicidal ideas and was out of labor for 2 weeks,” Fernald stated.

She finally determined it will be finest to go away her job in April 2021.

And she or he wasn’t alone, many staff within the well being care setting cope with related struggles.

“Whenever you’re working in that setting and there’s such a excessive demand on you to supply care, it’s laborious to seek out take care of your self,” Helen Stichel, Board Member of Central Shenandoah’s chapter of Nationwide Alliance on Psychological Sickness (NAMI) stated.

NAMI works to supply schooling, advocacy and help for people who find themselves fighting their psychological well being.

“It gives an area. I imply, I feel that is likely one of the key items is persons are busy and overwhelmed and there isn’t time. I don’t have time to allot house for my very own psychological well being,” Stichel added.

That house and help are issues Fernald says would have been useful in her former office.

“Extra psychological well being help for workers shall be useful, particularly with the brand new rise in instances, possibly peer help teams in addition to simply open dialogue about folks struggling,” Fernald defined.

Psychological well being was not a subject that was overtly mentioned amongst workers, however speaking about it will possibly assist.

“Particularly as a well being care employee within the pandemic that’s so vital as a result of for those who can’t deal with your individual psychological well being, you will be unable to supply high quality care to sufferers,” Stichel stated.

In case you are feeling anxious, unhappy, or having hassle sleeping or consuming, Fernald says it’s vital to say one thing.

“As a result of it’s regular, and also you’re not alone, and it’s OK to succeed in for assist,” she stated.

NAMI has a number of assets obtainable to anybody who’s experiencing added stress or strain of their lives.

“Let’s say you’re a member of the family of a well being care employee, and also you’re involved about their wellbeing and wish to know how one can help them, there are NAMI help teams which are particularly household to household,” Stichel stated.

Listed below are some assets obtainable for those who or somebody you understand wants help:

Nationwide Suicide Prevention Hotline: 1-800-273-8255

Valley CSB Emergency Providers: (540) 885-0866

NAMI Virginia

Mental Health America

You may as well go to the NAMI Central Shenandoah Facebook page or e mail

Copyright 2021 WHSV. All rights reserved.

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