VANCOUVER -- Emergency health-care workers at Vancouver General Hospital have been given a new space to unwind and unleash their frustrations amid the COVID-19 pandemic.

Lara Gurney, head nurse in VGH’s emergency department, knows first-hand the amount of stress those working on the front lines have experienced during the public health crisis.

“People were coming in feeling anxious before their workday had started,” said Gurney, in a news release. “They were worried about their families and their financial situation.”

Gurney decided to convert a conference room at the hospital into a makeshift time-out space.

The “wobble room” is designed to provide emergency staff members with a safe place to vent or just relax—at any time of the day.

“We’re saying here’s a space for you to take a moment, or to yell or cry if you want to,” said Gurney. “You can be vulnerable. You’re not alone and you don’t have to be alone.”

Inspired by similar concepts in several U.K. hospitals the bright space allows up to six people to gather together while still adhering to physical distancing guidelines.

There’s a large-screen TV equipped with Zoom where a counsellor will do group check-in sessions with staff members twice a week.

It also has an “encouragement wall” for workers to share positive thoughts with one another.

While there’s been a drop in cases of COVID-19 in the province as B.C. continues to flatten the curve the space will provide health-care workers with some much-needed relief and breathing room during these stressful and uncertain times.

“It’s important that we recognize the potential for burnout during and after the pandemic and how important it is to implement mitigation strategies,” said Lori Quinn, patient services manager at VGH, in a news release.

“The creation of the wobble room will help us be ready to deal with the situation, knowing the COVID-19 pandemic is a marathon, not a sprint.”