EHS-COVID (440) The role of compassion in maintaining EHS during the COVID-19 pandemic

23 August, 2021

The role of compassion in maintaining EHS during the COVID-19 pandemic

https://hlh.who.int/learning-briefs/the-role-of-compassion-in-maintainin...

KEY LEARNING THEMES

Compassion arises from:

- Awareness of human suffering.

- Emotional resonance with that suffering (empathy).

- Action (or a desire) to relieve that suffering.

In other words, awareness + empathy + action = compassion.

Compassion fuels commitment and innovation to address global health threats, like the effect of COVID-19 on disruption of essential health services, healthcare worker burnout, and collective social trauma.

On an individual level, the biggest impact compassion can make in the delivery of health services is recognizing the whole person, both for those who give and those who receive health services.

On a health provider level, compassionate support of health care workers is critical to their well-being and personal resilience, to mitigating burnout, and to the sustainability of the healthcare workforce to maintain essential health services.

On a leadership/organizational level, it is necessary for organizations to build cultures of compassion - looking after staff and each other as colleagues enables organizations to serve populations in maintaining essential health services. “Be well to serve well”.

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Neil Pakenham-Walsh, HIFA Coordinator, neil@hifa.org www.hifa.org