PHE ePoster Library. Gauntlett L. 09/13/16; 138053; 249
Mr. Louis Gauntlett
Mr. Louis Gauntlett
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Abstract As part of the public health response to the Ebola virus outbreak, confirmed by the World Health Organisation (WHO) in March 2014, emergency response, medical personnel and laboratory staff were deployed to West Africa. Many returned reporting feelings of pride, positive effects on their lives and increased self-worth. Others experienced negative psychological effects, including psychiatric illness. Previous research concerning infectious disease responder's mental health has identified increased distress, concerns around personal protective equipment and family-related stressors. Understanding factors that protect and enhance staff wellbeing in overseas crises will aid development of good working practice and support, possibly encouraging more to volunteer for future humanitarian work.Our team conducted two studies. Participants were Public Health England, Non-Governmental Organisations and WHO staff deployed to West Africa, supported the response from their home country, or WHO HQ between March 2014 and September 2015. Participants completed online surveys or semi-structured interviews in English or French. Topics covered included changes to mental health and wellbeing; motivations for working on emergency response; pre-deployment issues; training and experience; effects of exposure risk on self and family; stressors and positive experiences of wellbeing whilst deployed; levels of support; the post-deployment process; and standard mental health measures.This presentation will outline key findings and recommendations for pre-deployment training, psychological support during deployment, management of deployed humanitarian workers and post-deployment psychosocial support. Outcomes can be used by participating organisations to support future overseas deployment. External funding details This project has been jointly funded by the World Health Organisation and Public Health England.
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