Data on healthcare workers accessing mental health services to stay confidential

 Dr Hazel Othello - Photo by Sureash Cholai
Dr Hazel Othello - Photo by Sureash Cholai

Director of Mental Health at the Ministry of Health Dr Hazel Othello has said the data on the number of healthcare workers accessing mental health services will remain confidential.

Othello was speaking at the ministry’s virtual covid19 briefing on Wednesday.

She said the psychological toll on frontline and healthcare workers in the face of the pandemic is ongoing, and an article in the British Medical Journal highlighted the mental health issues of healthcare workers.

She said the article showed increases in depression, anxiety, and stress in healthcare workers, with higher levels of stress in females than males.

Mental health issues are affecting younger people aged around 30 more than older people.

“Those who work directly with patients with covid19 are affected more than those who don’t. Healthcare workers are under quite a bit of stress,” she said.

Responding to a request for data on how many healthcare workers are accessing the mental health services provided by the government, Othello said she could not divulge that information, as healthcare workers would have access to the employee assistance programme (EAP), which is confidential. She said the service is confidential with good reason.

"If information is released and got back to employers, the employees would not use those services.”

Othello said service providers can be accessed on the website, which brings together locally available resources.

She said with the support of PAHO, a print version has also been published and is being distributed.

The website, she said, has a directory for addiction support and social services, regional health authorities, suicide prevention, helplines, children and adolescents, and gender-based violence.


"Data on healthcare workers accessing mental health services to stay confidential"

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