Clinical Psychologist Mudzunga Mathivha believes the trauma that some health professionals experience in their work is often overlooked.

This as South Africa marks a year since it first recorded a positive coronavirus case.

She has reiterated the importance of psychological intervention for professionals who work in an environment that exposes them to COVID-19 secondary trauma.

COVID-19 Pandemic | ICN study shows that nurses experience intense trauma

Mathivha has advised professionals to form support groups in workplaces to help cope with the emotional impact of the pandemic.

“A whole lot of them are still working on autopilot, you know I’m expected here at work, I cannot focus on me, I cannot focus on what I am feeling or what I am thinking. I need to go to work, I need to be taking care of my daily responsibilities so I think they need to be motivated, or encouraged to seek help, therapy, counselling or debriefing depending on what is happening can be quite helpful even for your patients, for yourself and for your family as well,” says Mathivha.

She says healthcare workers should have peer groups where they discuss issues at their workplace or seek psychological help if they feel overwhelmed.

Reflecting on SA’s first COVID-19 case – A year on: Prof. Mosa Moshabela