KOTA KINABALU,Nov 24: Health workers fighting the Covid-19 pandemic in Sabah are screened for mental health issues from time to time to ensure their safety, state Local Government and Housing Minister Masidi Manjun said.
Masidi, who is also the state government’s official spokesman on Covid-19, said any mental health problems detected would be referred to the relevant parties, including psychologists, to ensure they were resolved.
“Various measures have been taken especially by the Sabah Health Department (JKNS) to detect mental health problems (among health workers) so they can be overcome and not affect their duties.
“Health workers may also directly contact the psychosocial support line created by the Mental Health and Psychosocial Support Service (MHPSS),” he told reporters last night.
The Sabah Medical Services Union (SMSU) had called for enhanced measures and strategies to take care of the mental health of frontliners facing challenges during the pandemic.
Masidi said all health workers had been briefed on their duties and what to expect.
“Before moving to a red zone, the staff will be given a ‘pre-deployment’ briefing. While on duty, they are given an ‘intra-briefing’ from time to time. This is followed by the ‘post-deployment’ briefing to ensure their mental health is maintained.
“Besides that, each unit head is responsible for their staff’s schedule to ensure they get enough rest and are not stressed in carrying out their duties,” he said.
He said if there was a shortage of health workers in an area, especially a red zone, the health department would mobilise personnel from green or yellow zone areas to ensure the staff were not overburdened.