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Nurses helping nurses: stress reduction kits bring joy to Edmonton’s health-care workers

Last Updated Jan 24, 2021 at 3:54 pm MST

EDMONTON (CityNews) – Frontline workers have taken the brunt of the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic and many have spoken out about the impacts it’s had on their mental health.

In response to this, a group of health-care workers in Edmonton came up with an idea to help support each other and mitigate burnout due to stress.

That’s why they created stress reduction kits to hand out to fellow nurses working specifically on COVID-19 units.

“We need to help each other first and lift each other up because we are always together and it’s up to us to build our morale and support each other. That’s how this all started,” said nurse Lorissa Gates, also a board member of Edmonton’s Stress Reduction Association.

“There are things like bath bombs, candles, journals, therapeutic items to help the nurse really focus on themselves.”

For their first batch of stress kits, the association raised around $3,000 and they were able to put together and distribute 50 kits at the University of Alberta Hospital.

“They were completely stunned,” said Gates of the nurses’ reactions. “Some of them were so shocked and grateful. The feedback we got from nurses and the manager was that it really increased the morale.

“It’s been beautiful how we’ve been able to band together to help.”

Right now, their goal is to raise enough money to put together another 100 kits to give to more health-care workers.

“Eventually we want to expand to all hospitals to touch as many health-care workers as we possibly can and to continue working on program development for health-care workers.”

The stress kit also includes mental health support links and weekly online yoga and breath work classes.