Our members can play a crucial role in supporting the psychological wellbeing of NHS staff, key workers and our communities, says our Policy and Engagement Lead (Mental Health) Matt Smith-Lilley.
Matt was responding to a new report by the IPPR thinktank which found that half of health workers had experienced mental health problems as a result of dealing with Covid-19.
The research found that mental health issues were more likely among younger health professionals – who are likely to be inexperienced or early in their careers – with as many as 71% saying their mental health had been affected.
The report says extra support – including access to counselling – will need to be provided for people with a range of mental health needs because of the coronavirus crisis.
Matt said: “We’re aware dealing with the Covid-19 crisis is going to have a significant impact on the mental health of many NHS staff, as well as other key workers and the wider population.
“Counselling and psychotherapy can play a critical role in helping to support people through this national crisis, both now and afterwards.
“We know a number of organisations, including the NHS, often have psychological support in place for their staff, such as through EAPs, but this may need further funding and expansion to meet rising demand.
“Where other frontline workers and the public do not have timely access to psychological services in place, we’re calling for additional investment to give them the support they need and deserve. Any provision needs to ensure a choice of support is available, including counselling and psychotherapy.”
We’ve launched a campaign with other professional bodies, service providers, think tanks, trainers and individual therapists urging the Government to maximise the role of counselling and psychotherapy in supporting the nation through the coronavirus crisis. We’re delighted that IPPR are also supporting the campaign.
Almost 10,000 people have backed the campaign, which aims to ensure there is a workforce to deliver the comprehensive mental health response to the Covid-19 crisis and that there is adequate signposting to psychological therapy services.
Matt said: “As people come to terms with the mental health impact of a range of issues such as illness and bereavement; insecurity and isolation, and general anxiety at such an uncertain time work of professional therapists will be as important as ever.
“Our members often undervalued and underutilised as a workforce and are ready and able to be a key part of the solution to the country’s mental health needs.
“We’re keen to do all we can to work with Government to ensure these needs are met.”
Sign our petition calling on Government to maximise the role of counselling and psychotherapy in helping to support people through the current crisis and beyond.