Prior to Covid-19, stress levels were at their highest ever among those who work in health and social care across the England, Scotland, Wales, Northern Ireland, Ireland and other countries across Europe and beyond. Moreover, staff vacancies and turnover were adding further to the pressure on staff. And then the pandemic struck, with all the associated increases in stress, anxiety and fear, write Prof. Michael West CBE and Barbara Doeleman-Van Vedlhoven, BFC Compassionate Care & Mindful Medicine
As Suzie Baily and Michael West wrote in their Blog for the King’s Fund , leaders must have the courage to help shape a transformed future for health and social care, by creating the conditions for innovation. This can only be achieved by releasing the energy, skills and motivations of those they lead now and in the future, by moving from command and control to compassionate and collective leadership. Compassion is founded on a deep connection with ourselves and with those around us.
BFC Compassionate Care and Mindful Medicine (The Netherlands) is committed to supporting this vision of the future of health and social care and has created an online platform – The International Compassion Community for People in Health and Care (ICC)– where health and care workers can meet with others around the world every day to practise meditation, mindfulness and develop (self)compassion.
Meditation can help to develop inner calm, better interpersonal connections and compassion for self and others. This builds compassion resilience which in turn contribute to quality of care and to the health and well-being of those working in health and social care. The platform has been very successful in creating a virtual space for people in health and care to connect (in silence and in practice) with others working in health and care. The experience has touched the hearts of many people across the world.
ICC’s international teachers (around 30) have committed themselves to this initiative by freely sharing their expertise. They are based in a variety of health and care organisations and also offer diversity in their backgrounds in contemplative traditions.
ICC offers guided meditations in English on Thursdays and Sundays 7.30-8.00 pm GMT, and in Dutch on the other days of the week. Soon, there will be daily guided meditations in English. The community has Question and Answer sessions once a month, a meeting place and webinars on mindfulness and compassion in health and care every two months.
If you would like to join the ICC on individual basis: subscribe here. All income is used to fund the community and is not for profit. If you would like to enable all your staff to access the Community, please contact us at firstname.lastname@example.org and we will provide details of a low cost option, based on the numbers of staff in your organization.