Susan Jain is based at the Homerton University Hospital NHS Foundation Trust in the London Borough of Hackney and has been on the frontline of dealing with the Covid-19 pandemic since it broke out in early 2020. She is one of the speakers on a panel entitled Frontliners Speak Out at the Online Global Stress & Wellbeing Summit being hosted by the International Stress Management Association (ISMAUK) from 3rd-4th November. 

Impact of trauma on frontliners' mental health   Susan says there is still not enough vaccine uptake and ICU units are already over-capacity with 50% occupancy by unvaccinated Covid patients. Her message to the public is to get vaccinated because Covid is still a threat, and for those previously vaccinated to get booster jabs - this will help with waning immunity. For those who still don't believe in it, she says, "The vaccine really does work and Covid is much less potent if you get it despite being vaccinated". The public can also help by continuing to wear masks in confined spaces and maintaining social distancing.

Susan continues, "Many of my colleagues have been traumatised through pressure brought on by Covid, and this has made me more aware of the impact such psychological trauma can have on mental health". As a member of the Frontliners panel at the ISMAUK Summit, she and her co-panellists will seek to establish whether there are different mental health and wellbeing challenges or needs for those involved with frontline services. They will ask whether there is sufficient focus on the mental health and wellbeing of those on the frontline.

Mental health is major focus at ISMAUK Summit

Mental health is a major issue, with soaring numbers seeking treatment. "The nation's mental health is in urgent need of support", says Paul Farmer of The Independent Premium. He writes, "The government does not seem to see the 1.6 million people on mental health waiting lists as a priority".  As the centrepiece of International Stress Awareness Week 1st-5th November, the focus at ISMAUK's Stress and Wellbeing Summit will be very much on mental health, stress and wellbeing. It will feature sessions such as The Changing Face of Mental Health and Enhancing Mental Wellbeing, inspirational keynotes, authoritative choose-an-expert sessions, and live panel discussions on topics related to stress, mental and physical health, workplace wellbeing and developing resilience during changing times.

Over 25 world-class speakers include Professor Sir Cary Cooper CBE, a renowned expert on workplace wellbeing; Francoise Woolley, Head of Mental Health & Wellbeing at ACAS; Professor Diana Kloss MBE, Hon President & Chair of the Council for Work and Health; and Professor Simon Wessely, a psychiatrist and epidemiologist who led the recent independent review into the Mental Health Act.

Reducing the stigma attached to mental health and stress  Carole Spiers, Chair of ISMAUK, said, "We are delighted to have such a prestigious line-up of speakers at our Summit, covering subjects from the health benefits of time spent outdoors, to discovering how technology can support our mental health. The Summit theme is Putting health, happiness and wellbeing into the heart of business and our expert speakers will each play a part in showing how this can be achieved.  We want the Summit to reach as many people as possible, in the UK and internationally, to raise awareness and understanding of the need to reduce the continuing stigma attached to mental health and stress issues and help those who need it to get the treatment they deserve".