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Finding Structure in Chaos

The following are tools to help leaders during the COVID19 pandemic. The content below was developed by Robert J. Ursano, MD during recent training entitled "Disaster Psychiatry and Behavioral Health: From war and terrorism to earthquakes ….and corona virus".

Stress Management for Leaders

Explore techniques to aid in reducing the levels of stress caused by disastrous or other high stress situations.    

Top: Leaders must lead by example in helping others manage stress. 

Managing a Workplace or an Organization after a Crisis

All disasters impact the workplace, whether natural or human-made, how can you and your team remain proactive during a crisis?

Tips:

  • All flexibility with dress code.

  • Allow music, if possible.

  • Promote and encourage breaks.

  • Incorporate an anonymous suggestion box. 

  • Offer a treat of the week.

  • Encourage suggestions to improve workflow and wellbeing in the office.

  • Email joke of the day or week.

  • Identify a colleague you are comfortable with to keep an eye out for your stress level and who you can keep an eye on. 

Safety, Recovery and Hope after Disaster Helping Communities and Families Recover

.After a disaster, governments and relief organizations play an important role in reducing distress for both victims and the broader society.

Tips:

DO NOT – force people to share their stories, details (may decrease calming).

DO NOT – give simple reassurances (often diminishes calming).

DO NOT – tell people what they should be feeling, thinking or doing. now(decreases efficacy).  Everyone processes things differently. 

DO NOT – make promises you can’t keep (decreases hope).

DO NOT – criticize existing services or relief activities in front of people in need of these services (diminishes hope and calming). 

Taking care of yourself and encouraging others to practice self-care sustains the ability to care for those in need.

Taking care of yourself and encouraging others to practice self-care sustains the ability to care for those in need.