Working in High Risk Areas

Ask for support | Talk to someone | Get practical help

Feeling stressed is an experience you and your colleagues are likely to go through. It is ok to not feel ok. Asking for help is a sign of strength.

Take the time to take care of your basic needs. Make sure you take time to stay well and rest between shifts.

Things that might help

  • Consider your mental and emotional health. We are seeing growing levels of trauma and PTSD among those working in high risk areas. While it is normal to struggle, if you are worried about your own or someone else’s mental health you can refer them for support through the Mental health and wellbeing hubs, contact one of the helplines or crisis support services.
  • Get help: Contact a local or national helpline to get both emotional and practical support. Your employer may also be able to help with practical elements like travel, accommodation and food.
  • Take a breath. Busy shifts can mean you can’t get away for a proper break. Use simple resources to decompress even if only few a few minutes. You may have a wellbeing lounge on your site, where you can let someone look after you or arrange for them to bring you or the team refreshments.


  • Sustaining staff wellbeing in Critical Care. This poster from Intensive Care Society outlines some helpful tips for teams and individuals appropriate to all high risk areas during the pandemic.
  • Responding to stress experienced by hospital staff. This mindmap from COVID Trauma Response working group offers leaders and staff alike some simple tips.
  • StartWell>EndWell: Introduce this practical approach to support your colleagues and to promote effective teaming particularly during challenging periods.
  • Effective teamworking during a crisis:  This short video and guidance is applicable to remote and co-located teams.
  • Stay Alive App: pocket suicide prevention resource packed full of useful information to help you stay safe. You can use it if you are having thoughts of suicide or if you are concerned about someone else who may be considering suicide.
  • Health and wellbeing resources and training from the Intensive Care Society for critical care staff and managers.