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Health professionals: Use ‘psychological first aid’ upon return to work

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(WQOW)- Health professionals are advising all employees returning to work after time off during the pandemic to use what they call "psychological first aid" to prevent emotional distress.

Officials from the Marshfield Clinic Health System describe that the transition back to work may come with various worries, fears, or other unsettling emotions due to increasing changes in the workplace. Because of this, employees are recommended to take three steps to calm down: Recognize the stress, look for warning signs, like aggression, grief or headaches, and finding resources to help.

"It's really important for us to recognize that first aid for our mind is really just as important as first aid for our bodies, " said Erica Larson, a child and adolescent psychiatrist for the Marshfield Clinic Health System. "Psychological first aid is a system that can provide support from individuals, families, and communities. So it can really be used by everyone."

Health professionals also ask for employers to reinforce new required behaviors in the workplace such as mask mandates and physical distancing, and be role models to help employees feel comfortable when they return.

Evan Hong

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