Psychosocial support programs are a way for hospitals to support the mental health of their staff. However, while support is needed, utilization of support by hospital staff remains low. This study from van de Baan et al. aims to identify reasons for non-use and elements that are important to consider when offering psychosocial support.
The study found that the use of psychosocial support decreased from 8.4% in December 2020 to 3.6% by September 2021. The authors identified four main reasons for non-use of support: deeming support unnecessary, deeming support unsuitable, being unaware of the availability or feeling undeserving of support. Furthermore, they uncovered four important elements: offer support structurally after the crisis, adjust support to diverse needs, ensure accessibility and awareness, and an active role for supervisors.
The results show that the low use of psychosocial support by hospital staff is shaped by individual, organisational, and support-specific factors. These factors can be targeted to increase the use of psychosocial support, and they are not specific to frontline staff. Consequently, future studies and psychosocial support programs in practice should address the identified factors of psychosocial support for hospital staff as a whole.