COVID – Resilience and Growth

This 12-hour course facilitates learners to reframe challenging experiences associated with living and working during a crisis situation. Ideas on loss, grief, bereavement and mental health first –aid inform a drama-based programme that fosters post traumatic growth, self-care and personal resilience. 

In December 2019 a cluster of cases of pneumonia of unknown cause, were detected in Wuhan City, Hubei Province, China, and reported to the World Health Organisation (WHO). This was identified as a novel coronavirus, SARS-CoV-2 virus and the associated disease COVID-19. Following alarming levels of transmission and severity the WHO, in March 2020 declared COVID-19 a public health emergency of international concern.

One could not have imagined the enormity of the pandemic about to grip the world and change lives so dramatically. The response to the COVID-19 brought unprecedented pressures, posed an extraordinary challenge to the health and well- being of persons worldwide; It presented an extreme threat and health care services began preparing for an influx of cases and a demand on services never before seen.

There is significant research and evidence outlining the psychological impact of a pandemic. Research into the outbreaks of severe acute respiratory syndrome (SARS) in 2003 and Ebola virus disease in 2015 identified an increase in psychological disorders among the public following a virus outbreak. COVID-19, as with previous pandemics, is no different and not only does it pose a threat to both life and health but can have a significant impact on one’s emotional responses and coping strategies.

In the setting of a global pandemic it is normal to be frightened for one’s own safety. During COVID-19 change has been rapid and associated with both uncertainty and with varying degrees of loss. We are currently facing a tragic loss of life, adapting to new ways of living often surrounded by fear and anxiety. Coping with loss during this unprecedented time can be extremely difficult. COVID-19 is now a leading cause of death worldwide. Numerous families have lost loved ones; for health care professionals the huge surge in deaths can be distressing and contribute to compassion fatigue, a profound emotional and physical erosion that takes place when one is unable to refuel or regenerate – physical, emotional and spiritual depletion.

Whilst the ‘new normal’ ahead is unclear and precarious, there is a growing awareness of the need to address broader aspects of wellness among health care professionals. Although tending to personal wellness is always important, it has become even more crucial during these extraordinary times.

The focus of this 2 day course is to assist attendees to reframe challenging experiences associated with living and working during a crisis situation. Experiential learning and reflection will be facilitated through the use of workshops, role plays and simulation. This is supplemented by online support, webinars and master classes when appropriate. While the learning outcomes of the course are predetermined, dialogical pedagogy involves open discussion with learners so that they set the agenda and influence the content and learning processes.

The workshops use Health Action Training (HAT) techniques drawn from the performing arts, actor training and applied drama to improve interpersonal communication skills in challenging situations.

The course covers three main areas all of which will be referenced to your field of practice.

  • Key performance, person-centred practice and communication skills.
  • Self-reflection, self-care and personal resilience
  • Relationship management and team communication

At the end of the course learners will be able to;

  • Understand and engage with simulated communication practice and critically reflect on how this might support an evidence informed response to challenging experiences associated with living and working during a crisis situation.
  • Apply Health Action Training performance techniques and practices in a range of role play scenarios and evaluate the effect these have on enhancing personal resilience and post traumatic growth in person centred practice.
  • Identify methods to improve self-care and enhance personal resilience, while building support networks, sharing best practices and role modelling advanced communication in health and social care environments.