NHS Wellbeing Support launches today
GMB union welcomes the launch of the Wellbeing Support package for NHS staff, who are going through the most challenging time in the health service's history
The NHS has launched a mental health hotline as part of a package of measures to support the NHS’ 1.4 million staff as they help people deal with the coronavirus. NHS staff will be able to call or text a free number staffed by thousands of specially trained volunteers, to receive support and advice for the pressures they face every day during the global health emergency. The volunteers will listen to NHS staff and give psychological support to those in need. Anyone who requires further help will be signposted to other services ranging from practical and financial assistance through to specialist bereavement and psychological support.
The phone number is 0300 131 7000 or alternatively you can text NHSPH to 85258. The phone line will be open between 7am and 11pm every day, while the text service will be 24/7. The package of measures is part of the extensive work the NHS is doing to help provide expert care to patients during the Covid-19 pandemic.
Prerana Issar, Chief People Officer for the NHS, said: “We need to do everything we can to support our incredible NHS people as they care for people through this global health emergency. That’s why we have developed a range of support for all NHS staff from one to one mental health support to a sympathetic voice to confide in.
“The NHS is rightly doing everything we can for our staff, but the best thing that the public can do if they want to do their bit for nurses, doctors and other NHS staff, is to protect them by staying indoors and washing your hands.”
The more than 1,500 volunteers who will be staffing the lines have come from charities including Hospice UK, the Samaritans and Shout. The NHS has also partnered with Headspace, UnMind and Big Health to offer a suite of apps for no charge to assist staff with their mental health. The apps offer support in everything from guided meditation, tools to battle anxiety and help with sleep problems.
Nick Day, GMB Southern Region’s Lead Organiser for the NHS said, “The GMB union welcomes the launch of the Wellbeing Support package for NHS staff, who are going through the most challenging time in the health service's history.
“The levels of anxiety and stress through increased workload, issues around inadequate Personal Protective Equipment (PPE) and lack of testing remains an issue for both our NHS key workers and those working for contractors. It is important that this is tackled as a whole alongside the important support for mental health that the NHS will now be providing.
“GMB will of course continue to campaign for all aspects of health and safety for our members during this period.”
Contact: Nick Day via 07717510047 or firstname.lastname@example.org