Stress Management in Mortuary and Death Care Operations During the COVID-19 Pandemic   [open pdf - 235KB]

From the Document: "The worldwide spread of the coronavirus has resulted in an unprecedented era of uncertainty, fear, disruption, economic hardship, sickness, and death. Exposure to human remains can be stressful, but the guidelines below will help you manage your stress and increase adaptive coping. The guidelines are applicable to inexperienced and experienced mortuary personnel, medical staff, first responders, military service members, and those planning for current or upcoming mortuary operations. In your work, you may see, smell, and handle the remains of individuals of all ages. Working with or around remains may arouse strong feelings of pity, horror, repulsion, disgust, and anger at the senselessness of this tragedy. You may feel guilty for not helping enough. These reactions are normal and a part of being human. You may feel emotionally numb, or you may even use 'graveyard humor' to make the suffering and death less terrible. These are also normal responses. Strong emotions or reactions may be most painful when working with the remains of children, or when the remains remind you of someone you know or of yourself."

Center for the Study of Traumatic Stress. Posted here with permission. Documents are for personal use only and not for commercial profit.
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Center for the Study of Traumatic Stress: http://www.cstsonline.org/
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