Looking after yourself and colleagues

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Guidance, information and resources on staff mental health and emotional well-being

Skills for Care CEO Oonagh Smyth applauds Samaritans’ wellbeing support for frontline care staff

Skills for Care CEO, Oonagh Smyth, applauds the Samaritans’ current wellbeing campaign, including their helpline to support the adult social care workforce. Meanwhile, Samaritans volunteer, Faith Williams, describes her experience answering calls from health and social care workers during the pandemic.

For anyone feeling the pressure, there is always someone to turn to. Click the link below to find out more about the support available.

Visit ‘Our Frontline‘ for wellbeing support when you need it.

Staff mental health and emotional wellbeing

The pandemic is affecting us all in many ways: physically, emotionally, socially and psychologically. It is a normal reaction to a very abnormal set of circumstances. It is okay not to be okay and it is by no means a reflection that you cannot do your job or that you are weak. Some people may have some positive experiences, such as taking pride in the work, or your work may provide you with a sense of purpose.

Managing your emotional well-being right now is as important as managing your physical health. If you are concerned about your mental health, your GP is always a good place to start. If it is outside of working hours, contact the crisis line of your borough or if you are known to services, please call your Care Coordinator or the service responsible for your care. 

Below are some things to consider to support your own wellbeing:

  • These times are temporary and things will get better
  • Consider and acknowledge how you are feeling and coping, reflecting on your own needs and limits
  • Ask for help if you are struggling. Asking for help when times are difficult is a sign of strength
  • Stay connected with colleagues, managers, friends and family. Where possible do check on the needs of colleagues and loved ones
  • A lot of things might feel out of your control at the moment. It can help to focus on what we can control rather than what we cannot
  • Acknowledge that what you and your team are doing matters. You are doing a great job!
  • Choose an action that signals the end of your shift and try to rest and recharge when you are home 

To speak to someone

  • Urgent Support: Good-Thinking’s Urgent Support page has numbers and links to help you access urgent support, 
  • 1:1 Mental health support: 24 hours a day: Text FRONTLINE to 85258 for a text chat or call 116 123 for a phone conversation
  • Visit Bereavement Support Online: or call the free confidential bereavement support line (Hospice UK), on 0300 303 4434, 8am – 8pm
  • NHS Psychological therapy (IAPT): Search to find out how to get access to NHS psychological therapy (IAPT)
  • Finances: If relatives of staff are financially effected by COVID-19, they can access the Money Advice Service web-chat or call 0800 138 1677, from the Money Advise Service website.

Evidence-based apps and personalised online tools

  • Worry and anxiety: The free Daylight phone app teaches you to manage worry and anxiety by offering audio-led guidance tailored to you
  • Sleep: Sleepio is a highly personalised free digital sleep-improvement program which helps you get to the root of poor sleep.

Work and wellbeing

Test and Trace support payment

Please see the London Borough of Sutton’s Test and Trace support payment page for more information.

Further resources

  • Sutton Mental Health Foundation runs a free wellbeing phone line, which is available to call on 0800 0129105 10am-2pm Monday to Friday. To find out more about the service, visit their site.
  • The stigma of COVID-19 can cause distress and isolation. Learn how to fight it in this video from the World Health Organisation.
  • Building your own resilience, health and wellbeing website is a resource from Skills for Care
  • Reflective debrief after a death: Support carers to take time grieving and reflecting together about the person that has passed away, what happened leading up to the death, what went well, and what didn’t go so well, what could have been done differently, and what needs to change as a result of the reflection – Resource from ‘What’s Best for Lily’ by UCL Partners
  • Care Workforce COVID-19 app: Get information and advice, swap learnings and ideas, and access practical resources on looking after your own health and wellbeing. Signup or download the app using an Apple or Android phone.
  • For access to more tips, free guides, assessments and signposted resources, visit Good Thinking

Page last updated on January 14th, 2022 at 2:39pm

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