A hotline aimed at supporting the mental health of more than one million NHS workers has been launched in the wake of the coronavirus pandemic.
Package of measures
The hotline – available by phone and text message – is part of a wider package of measures to support 1.4 million NHS staff as they help people deal with the coronavirus.
It will be staffed by more than 1,500 volunteers from charities including Hospice UK, the Samaritans and Shout who will provide support and advice to 1.4 million NHS staff for the pressures they face during the global health emergency. The facility will also signpost people to other services, ranging from practical and financial assistance through to specialist bereavement and psychological support.
In addition, the NHS has partnered with Headspace, UnMind and Big Health to offer a suite of free apps that offer support in everything from guided meditation, tools to battle anxiety and help with sleep problems.
We need to do everything we can to support our incredible NHS, as they care for people through this global health emergency
Danny Mortimer, chief executive of NHS Employers, said: “We know our teams are providing tremendous support, not just to the patients they’re treating, but to each other, across the health service. It’s extremely heartening to see this kind of support will be available to NHS teams, via phone, text and online. As the pandemic continues, our people will face new and growing challenges on a daily basis, and it’s therefore more important than ever that they are able to access resources to help them manage their wellbeing, in a way that suits their needs.”
Supporting NHS staff
Prerana Issar, Chief People Officer for the NHS, commented: “We need to do everything we can to support our incredible NHS people as they care for people through this global health emergency. That’s why we have developed a range of support for all NHS staff from one to one mental health support to a sympathetic voice to confide in.”
This helpline allows us to bring our expertise to care for people who are doing an incredible job
Tracey Bleakley, CEO of Hospice UK, said: “We know how hard staff are working to provide care for patients both in the NHS and in our hospices across the country. We want to do all we can to help clinical and other staff working hard to beat the coronavirus. This helpline allows us to bring our expertise to care for people who are doing an incredible job.”
The British Psychological Society is amongst the organisations that have welcomed the initiative as the crisis had placed unprecedented demands on staff working in health and social care. The society has published its own guidance which outlines a stepped approach to meeting the psychological needs of staff.
For further support and advice, telephone 0300 131 7000 or text FRONTLINE to 85258. The phone line is open daily between 7am and 11pm, while the text service offers a 24/7 service.
For more support and advice around COVID-19, click here.
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