The NHS is launching a package of support to look after the health and wellbeing of healthcare staff during the coronavirus pandemic.
This includes a text service and telephone hotline, operated by volunteers from the Samaritans, who will listen to key workers’ concerns.
We believe it’s important the impact this crisis is having on NHS staff’s health and wellbeing is recognised.
We’re pleased to see that steps have been taken to offer this general, but much-needed, support.
Alongside this support, we believe that access to more specialist psychological services, including counselling and psychotherapy, provided by highly trained, professional therapists, should be made available to those staff who wish to access it.
Many NHS Trusts will already have psychological support in place for their staff but this may need further funding and expansion to meet rising demand.
As this crisis continues to develop, qualified, professional therapists will be critical in the long-term in supporting healthcare staff and others whose mental health has been affected.
Comprehensive mental health response
That’s why we’re calling on NHS England to ensure services are available. We're offering our support to work with them in ensuring a workforce of appropriately trained practitioners is available to deliver the comprehensive mental health response to this crisis needed.
We’d also like to see matching commitments from Scotland, Wales and Northern Ireland to support their NHS staff working during the current crisis.
Matt Smith-Lilley, our Policy and Engagement Lead for Mental Health, said:
“The support being offered to NHS staff is an important recognition of the impact this crisis is having on mental health and wellbeing. We’re pleased to see it being launched.
“But it is only the first step in what is needed over the coming weeks, months, and years.
“We know counsellors and psychotherapists are already playing a vital role supporting vulnerable people, including medical staff and other key workers. This need for professional therapeutic support will only increase.
“We’re calling for the Government to expand the level of support offered to NHS staff and to maximise the role that paid counsellors and psychotherapists can play in supporting people through these challenging times and weeks and months ahead.”
Tackling the mental health consequences of coronavirus
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