A range of support for those ‘at the frontline’

While we don’t yet know what the mental health impacts of COVID-19 will be, it is important to note that the NHS workforce has been working tirelessly to fight this pandemic for a sustained period now, and for those needing help and support, there are a number of online and telephone resources available.

Individuals may be experiencing burn- out – a state of emotional, physical, and mental exhaustion caused by excessive and prolonged stressful situations. With the increasing pressure on NHS services, it is important that people are aware of the support services that are available should they be needed.

NHS Staff support line In the current climate of increasing pressures on our healthcare system, NHS staff potentially face significant stresses. ‘Our NHS People’ has introduced a confidential staff support line, operated by the Samaritans, and free to access from 7.00 am to 11.00 pm, seven days a week. This support line is here for when you’ve had a tough day, are feeling worried or overwhelmed, or simply have a lot on your mind and need to talk it through. Trained advisers can help

with signposting and confidential listening. Telephone 0800 069 6222, or text FRONTLINE to 85258, for support ‘24/7’ via text.

Bereavement support line There is also a confidential bereavement support line, operated by Hospice UK, free to access from 8.00 am-8.00 pm, seven days per week, with a team of fully qualified and trained bereavement specialists available to support you with bereavement and wellbeing issues relating to loss experienced through your work. Telephone: 0300 303 4434.

Wellbeing Support Service NHS People has also partnered with Project 5 to make free ‘one-to-one’ confidential support sessions available for NHS personnel.

Project 5 is led by clinicians and coaches, and can link you to professionals with the skills to assist at a time of crisis. Find support at

REACT Mental Health conversation training

People with management, supervisory, and supportive roles can have a significantly positive (or negative) impact on the mental wellbeing of the people in their teams and communities. REACT Mental Health’s aim is to

equip NHS managers, supervisors, and those with caring responsibilities for NHS people, to confidently hold supportive and compassionate mental health and wellbeing conversations, during and beyond COVID-19. To find out more, visit conversation-training

Financial wellbeing support NHS People recognises that this is a difficult time for staff, and that financial concerns have consistently been in the top five reasons that NHS

Virtual staff common rooms Colleagues in the national People Team, in partnership with NHS Practitioner Health, have been busy developing virtual Staff Common Rooms for NHS colleagues from across the service, and from Black, Asian, and Minority Ethnic (BAME) communities. This is an opportunity for our NHS people to come together virtually, and to invest some time in supporting each other during these challenging times, regardless of job role, organisational context, or hierarchy, and includes all final year students who have been working on the COVID-19 pandemic. The Common Rooms are a safe and supportive environment hosted by an experienced and approved practitioner. They are one-hour, ‘one-off’ meetings with a maximum of 10 NHS staff – although you can access them as often as you need to. Discussion in the room is guided by the participants, and focuses on present and future coping and support.

They are an opportunity to share experiences and learning, with hosts also guiding people to additional support and resources. You can sign up to a Virtual Staff Common Room through Zoom. The service is currently operated Monday to Friday, from 8.00 am to 8.00 pm, at varying times, with further plans to increase it to a seven-day-a-week service, with increased daily hours, should demand require this. To register, visit the online events calendar, at: events/common-rooms, where you will also see a range of events run by NHSE/ NHSI UK-wide on a variety of topics. For queries, email Communications Lead, Tyah Pinnock, at:

10 Health Estate Journal February 2021

personnel call the free support helpline run by the Samaritans. That is why they have partnered

with the Money Advice Service to bring individuals financial wellbeing support to help them manage their finances at home. Visit financial-wellbeing/steps/financial- wellbeing-resources

Place2Be Place2Be has launched a free programme of

support and arts and craft resources for

keyworker parents and carers, including all NHS colleagues, to support their children’s mental health and wellbeing. Visit place2be

‘Finding calm amongst the chaos’ At amongst-chaos/ you can find a short video collection designed to provide simple tools and techniques to reduce stress wherever you are and effectively use what little time you may have to attend to it. Finding calm amongst life’s chaos can feel impossible some days. It is possible to find

some balance, right here and now, by using some quick and simple techniques. For more information, resources, or support, visit:

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