Prevent psychological illness following the Corona crisis

(Helsingborg, Sverige – Photo from @hansericorre)

Mental illness is unfortunately increasing after crises and therefore it is important that we see the risks and act on them. This is an important managerial issue to work on as the pandemic evolves. It is also an important professional development issue.

it is important that we bear in mind that mental illness is something that we can all experience, in different phases of life. Also, a small reduction in our well-being is also a loss.

During the pandemic, the media in Sweden has written about the connection between mental illness and COVID-19. In June, a large part of Helsingborg’s library management team participated in a webinar organized by our occupational health, “Prevent mental illness following on the Corona crisis.”

As a continuation of this webinar and as part of our systematic work health activities, we have made a plan in the area. Helsingborg is now looking at how we can implement measures at organizational, group and individual levels.

The work is based on the following areas:

  • Using positive sides of the crisis (the need for social activities increases, the focus on new solutions and initiatives taken as well as increased creativity and innovation)
  • Identifying early health signals (increase the awareness of all staff so that we all see the early health signals, professional development within this, and continue to discuss this in individual dialogues)
  • Focusing on group development (continue with professional development, work on social activities, do not just focus on Covid-19)
  • Supporting managers, both on group and individual levels.

We are continuously working on this and have various activities during the year. One concrete initiative is to use a tool to learn more about how to see early health and stress signals together with all staff. We are also looking at how we can carry out group activities in a Corona-safe manner. And we also have a research project which has just started together with Lund University.

Feel free to share with us how you work with this important issue. We would like to get inspiration on how we can develop this work further.

Catharina Isberg, Library Director Helsingborg City Libraries