You mental health and wellbeing matters. When working hard to improve the health of your patients, particularly during the COVID-19 pandemic, it can be easy to neglect your own mental wellbeing. On this page, we’ve collected together some helpful resources and services for members and their managers.
It is important that you also focus on maintaining good mental health and wellbeing at this time, whether dealing with the challenges of work or having to self-isolate.
- The NHS Every Mind Matters site offers expert advice and practical tips to help you look after your mental health and wellbeing, so discover what works for you.
Particularly following the COVID-19 pandemic, there are a significant amount of resources available for healthcare staff and their managers, to support wellbeing:
- In Scotland, the National Wellbeing Hub provides advice and support for anyone working in health or social services in Scotland.
- NHS England have information and resources including a confidential staff support line.
- Health Education and Improvement Wales (HEIW) released series of resources to coincide with the COVID-19 pandemic to support staff in Wales.
- In Northern Ireland, a new framework for leaders and managers to support staff as well as a series of resources and a support line for each Trust.
- In ROI, the Employee Assistance Programme (EAP) is a confidential independent service that supports employees with psychosocial issues.
NHS staff have also been given free access to some well-being apps during the COVID pandemic:
- Access to Unmind, a workplace mental health platform is free to NHS workers during the COVID-19 outbreak. You just need to register here with an NHS email.
- Headspace, is a science-backed app in mindfulness and meditation, providing unique tools and resources to help reduce stress, build resilience, and aid better sleep.
- Bright Sky is a free to download, confidential mobile app providing support and information for anyone who may be in an abusive relationship or those concerned about someone they know.
- The Cityparents programme consists of a curated collection of positive and practical support for working parents, delivered through expert led webinars/seminars, advice, peer insights, online articles, blogs and podcast.
- The Stay Alive app is a suicide prevention resource for the UK, packed full of useful information and tools to help you stay safe in crisis.
Psychological First Aid
Psychological first aid is a humane supportive response to a fellow human being who is suffering and may need support in the wake of exposure to a potentially traumatic and emergency event such as the Covid pandemic.
It entails basic non-intrusive pragmatic care with a focus on listening but not forcing talk, assessing needs and concerns, ensuring that basic needs are met and encouraging social support from significant others.
BIOS and BOSTU would like to offer members the opportunity to talk one to one, to one of our Psychological first aiders who have completed the COVID-19 Psychological first aid course. This course was produced by Public Health England and based on international guidance from the World Health Organisation.
If you would like to access this service please contact Sam Aitkenhead at TUSecretary@orthoptics.org.uk who will put you in touch with a first aider and a confidential virtual meeting will be set up with you.
If you would like to become a psychological first aider. training aimed at frontline workers is available to access for free here.