Police officers workshop in Porto, Source: Porto Municipality/ Filipa Brito

Porto adds workshops on mental health for municipal employees

Porto adds workshops on mental health for municipal employees

Many of these people have been on the first lines of fighting the pandemic

The official website of Porto informed yesterday about ongoing workshops that are designed to help municipal workers cope with the fatigue, anxiety and stress inherent in carrying out their activities, and especially so during a tough period as the current COVID-19 pandemic has presented.

The Portuguese Municipality has a policy of stressing the importance of taking care not only of one’s physical but also of one’s mental health, as many people tend to push back or ignore that need due to social stigma or misunderstanding.

The workshops are taking place over a period of two weeks and are targeted at different groups of employees with stressful jobs, such as police officers, firefighters, cemetery workers, and operators from the public mobility sector and park maintenance. The workshops are carried out in collaboration with ENCONTRAR + SE, a non-profit association dedicated to promoting good mental health practices.

Last year, Porto Municipality adopted a standard of work-life balance for its employees

The workshops were launched last Friday, 12 March, with an in-person meeting at the Almeida Garrett Library, which was attended by municipal police officers. It was reported that for people in this occupation as well as for firefighters a special study will be conducted under the name ‘Caring for Well-Being and Mental Health in Time of Pandemic’.

That being said, municipal workers who have had to work from home have also been considered, as is well known by now that this situation has created a different type of stress and impact on mental health. That is why these people will be able to attend webinars, and another survey, developed in partnership with the Portuguese Catholic University and as part of the ‘Work @ Home’ project, will be carried out in their midst.

The city portal reminded readers that it is a policy of the current administration to take mental health as an intrinsic part of good quality of life, which is why in 2020 an official Standard 4552 was adopted. That document sets the guidelines for reconciliation between the professional, family and personal lives of municipal workers.

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