Carrying on Caring: Paul Burstow on the impact of Covid-19 on social care professionals

5 June 2020

Our Chair, Paul Burstow, shares his thoughts on how we make sense of the impact of the changes forced on upon us by Covid-19 and what we can do to try and cope better.

Paul BurstowSocial care has been in the forefront of the response to the pandemic these past 12 weeks.  Amidst all the challenges of PPE, testing and funding social care workers have carried on providing care and support for people of all ages and very diverse needs and circumstances. 

For many care workers carrying on caring has required much ingenuity and sacrifice to deliver safe services.  At the same time many care workers are juggling everyday family life and the need to keep loved ones safe.  These pressures can take their toll physically and psychologically.

 Lock-down measures such as social distancing and shielding are taking their toll on people’s everyday lives exposing vulnerabilities and widening inequalities.  And as the Government accelerates the unlocking of the lock down new challenges are emerging such as anxiety about public transport and crowding. 

We are all experiencing stress and anxiety and the whittling away of our resilience brought on by uncertainty, disruption and loss of control.  This can trigger or heighten feelings of vulnerability.  For carers, whether paid or unpaid, there is the added challenge of looking out for the feelings of others as well as processing your own

How do we make sense of the impacts of the changes forced on us by the pandemic?  What can we do to be better able to cope in a time of rapid change?  Together with our partners FutureLearn the Tavistock and Portman is offering a  free short course, ‘Social Care During COVID-19: Coping with Self-Isolation and Social Distancing'.  Our goal is to provide some tools and ways to make sense of how we live with and through the pandemic.  By following the journey of two friends, experiencing the changes, the course shares a creative range of methods and models which invite empathy, compassion and discussion, from a broad variety of perspectives.

This initiative reflects the Trust’s ambition to increase its reach and impact, by bringing our 100 years of expertise and insights to a wider audience.  The founding principles of the Tavistock Clinic are innovation and a deep commitment to addressing the societal determinants of mental distress and mental illness.

The collaboration with FutureLearn underpins the development of our own Digital Academy which will be launched as part of our Centenary celebrations later this year. 

To join the FutureLearn course, please sign up here.

Jo Williams - Senior Lecturer, Helen Shaw - Portfolio Manager, Social Care, Leadership & Management and Gareth Drake - Clinical Psychologist have developed this programme with the support of our Director of Education & Training / Dean - Brian Rock.

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