Covid-19 is new to everyone. In our jobs, we are being asked to work differently, under increasing pressure, with new people and teams, and outside our skill-set. Our body and brain systems may experience this as mentally and physically stressful, and perhaps even unsafe. Increased anxiety and fear is normal. This is not a sign of mental health problems, but is part of the natural process of adapting to radically changed circumstances both at work and at home.
We have carefully selected the safest and most effective resources available to support your psychological health and wellbeing. We encourage you to refer to these when you need them and start practicing self-compassion and self-care every day.
Joy at Home
After a busy shift or a busy working day, it can be hard to leave our experience in work as we move back into our home lives. This video, by Dr Sarah Meekin (Belfast Health and Social Care Trust), is a five minute ‘joy at home’ exercise to help you let go of your shift or working day and benefit from rest and being with your loved ones.
Hope in Work
We are working in difficult times in health and social care, and there are new challenges and worries as we come onto shift or into work. We have ongoing concerns about our families, our friends and for ourselves – and these can make the transition into work more difficult than usual, both emotionally and in our thinking. In this video, Dr Sarah Meekin (Belfast Health and Social Care Trust) describes a ‘hope in work’ exercise, designed to help you prepare mentally for the day ahead.
Mental wellbeing tools for you
The starting point for exploring self-help tools is the Public Health England / NHS website Every Mind Matters which contains expert advice and practical tips to help you look after your mental health and wellbeing.
The personalised 'Your Mind Plan' takes you through a short questionnaire and provides you with tailored advice to manage anxiety, low mood, stress and sleep during the Covid-19 pandemic.
All NHS staff can now directly access support from Silver Cloud who provide evidence-based self-help programmes for stress, sleep and resilience. Just use access code NHS2020 for NHS staff. Find out how to get free access to a range of award-winning, evidence-based apps - try them out and discover what works for you!
Mental wellbeing tools you can use in your teams
Check-in and check-out
There has never been a more important time to pull together and for effective team work. Teams need to communicate about tasks and check in with one and other to maintain positive relationships and colleague support mechanisms. This check-in and check-out guide is recommended as a guide to support this process.
10 Minute Pause Space
Create a ‘pop-up’ space for your team to re-set, re-charge and re-commit. The 10 Minute Pause Space is a brief, structured approach that provides an opportunity for a team to pause, listen and appreciate together.
Help your team to understand key psychological needs for healthcare professionals during each phase of the pandemic with this helpful guide.
NHS support line for staff
Call 0300 131 7000 or text FRONTLINE to 85258 for support 24/7 via text to start a conversation. Calls are supported by a number of expert charities, including Samaritans, Shout and Hospice UK.
Bereavement support line
Call 0300 303 4434 for confidential bereavement support, operated by Hospice UK, and free to access from 8am – 8pm, seven days a week.