Resiliency Webinars – Leadership Module Review

Review the Mental Health Continuum, A.I.R., key roles of leaders, and H.E.L.P. here:

Just like your physical health, your state of psychological well-being can fluctuate over time. The Mental Health Continuum is a colour-coded spectrum that you can use to reflect on your stress levels. It’s not a formal diagnostic tool, but a handy visual guide for self-reflection.

Consider how your moods, attitudes, and behaviours may shift in one direction or another. Each “phase” of the Mental Health Continuum has a corresponding set of recommended actions to take. Earlier identification = earlier intervention = better outcomes.

The Mental Health Continuum was adapted from the Government of Canada’s Road to Mental Readiness (R2MR) program.

A key component of supporting learners is knowing what to do when confronted with an event or stressor that may affect people differently. The “Ad hoc Incident Review” model, or A.I.R., is meant to be used following exposure to an adverse event or particularly high levels of stress.

A.I.R. is used to check in, assess how your team is feeling and determine who might need extra support. Everyone reacts to stress differently, and that’s okay. For A.I.R. to be effective, it is important to foster a climate of trust within the work area.

  • Step 1: Acknowledge the incident and provide an opportunity for informal discussion (e.g. “That was tough, how are you feeling?”). Your job isn’t to “fix” anything here, but to allow space for natural discussion and listen for feedback.
  • Step 2: Inform. Check in with the individual/group and ask them to place themselves on the Mental Health Continuum. What is their level of distress? Review the model together and remind them of healthy coping strategies and local resources.
  • Step 3: Respond by observing how they cope over time and follow up if needed. Refer back to the continuum and watch for signs that an individual may not be bouncing back after a few days. Follow up with any individuals who may require additional, more formal support. Continue to model healthy behaviour within your team.

This modified continuum graphic (click to enlarge) refers specifically to key roles of leaders. These suggested actions are meant to support your whole team and the learners you work with.

Your role at the program or leadership level is greatest in the green and yellow zones. The role of more formal wellness resources increases as a resident moves into the orange and red zones. This is to emphasize that you are not your resident’s healthcare provider. As they move into the red, your role is to help them access more formal resources.

Sometimes you may notice a peer or colleague who seems to be in distress. It can be intimidating to broach that topic of conversation with someone, so the H.E.L.P. acronym offers a guide to do so:

Ask How they’re doing. Make sure you find an appropriate time and place.

Provide Empathy. Put yourself in that person’s shoes and engage with their feelings as if they were your own.

Listen without judgement. Make them feel heard, understood, and not alone.

Plan next steps with them. What informal or formal support is available to them?