The Department of Health (DOH) hospitals in the Ilocos Region, namely Mariano Marcos Memorial Medical Center, Region 1 Medical Center, and Conrado F. Estrella Regional Trauma and Medical Center, actively participated in the synchronized introduction of the WMP or the “Wellness Movement Program” on Tuesday.

The program is aimed at enhancing the mental health and overall well-being of healthcare workers (HCWs) in their workplaces.

These healthcare facilities have aligned themselves with the nationwide assembly of 7,200 dedicated HCWs, collectively assuming the mantle of “wellness warriors” and advocating for mental health within their professional spheres.

As pointed out by Regional Director Paula Paz M. Sydiongco, HCWs face the daily rigors of a challenging work environment, a reality that predates the current pandemic.

This encompasses navigating through highly stressful and emotionally charged situations while attending to the sick, encountering human suffering and mortality, and often undertaking physically demanding tasks, such as patient handling.

These duties are compounded by interpersonal pressures from patients, family members, and employers.

“Incorporating the wellness movement program enables us to equip our HCWs to effectively cope with these demanding circumstances. The program blends scientific and pragmatic methodologies to guide physicians, nurses, and allied healthcare staff in the adoption of beneficial wellness practices,” Sydiongco said.

“These practices, which include grounding techniques, breathing exercises, and gratitude routines, prove invaluable during critical junctures of their daily routines.”

The program stands as a groundbreaking initiative aimed at nurturing the well-being of medical front liners by instilling effective wellness practices.

Its development was a collaborative effort involving the DOH and its implementation partner, “AHA! Behavioral Design.”

A pivotal aspect of the program revolves around “Wellness Gadgets,” tools meticulously crafted to seamlessly integrate into the day-to-day activities of HCWs.

These gadgets serve not only as personal aids but also enable participants to share their wellness journeys within community groups through both virtual and in-person engagements.

Emphasizing the importance of mastering stress management in the workplace, Conrado F. Estrella Regional Medical and Trauma Center Chief Emerson B. Patawaran emphasized, “Frequent encounters with stress can heighten the risk of developing mental health issues, including depression and anxiety, potentially exacerbating pre-existing conditions.”

He further stressed, “Elevating programs and initiatives geared toward alleviating job-related stress should be a paramount concern in our efforts to enhance working conditions.

As our responsibilities encompass delivering services aimed at improving the health and well-being of the public, prioritizing the welfare of our healthcare personnel is of utmost importance.”

In pursuit of these goals, medical personnel from the aforementioned hospitals have actively participated in wellness movement activities, including 5-10 minute meditation sessions. (AI/MNM)