NHS expands mental health support for staff

NHS England has announced that healthcare staff will be offered access to evidence-based mental health services at one of 40 hubs.

Seeking to support staff who have pushed their minds and bodies to the limit over the last year to look after their mental health, the 40 new dedicated hubs will enable staff to access services over the phone with onward referral to online and one-to-one expert help from qualified mental health clinicians, therapists, recovery workers and psychologists.

The hubs are free of charge and offer confidential advice and support to NHS staff who for the last year have cared for millions of people with coronavirus while keeping vital services like maternity, mental health and cancer care going.

NHS staff will be encouraged to reach out directly for help, but hubs will proactively contact staff groups who are most at-risk to offer them support so they get the care they need as quickly as possible.

The hubs have been modelled on the success of The Greater Manchester Resilience Hub which was set up to treat all those affected by the Manchester terrorist attack in 2017, including NHS staff.

Claire Murdoch, the NHS’ National Mental Health Director, said: “NHS staff are used to dealing with the extremes of life on a daily basis, but this year has been exceptional, and in what is likely to be the toughest year in their career, staff have put their minds and bodies to the limit treating hundreds of thousands of seriously ill-patients with Covid-19.

“So it is vital that the people that played such a big role getting this country through the pandemic are given additional support, and I would urge anyone working in the NHS whether you are a porter, a nurse, paramedic or other role to please ask for help from one of our 40 mental health support hubs as they open over the coming weeks.”

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