Our commitment to wellbeing
While the COVID-19 pandemic has changed everyone’s lives, it has created a particularly challenging environment for our care team. Because we are firmly committed to promoting their safety, establishing a positive sense of wellbeing, and providing an environment where issues can be discussed in an open and supportive way, we have produced a new wellbeing policy with a brief overview of it below.
Steps for those struggling
For people who are finding things difficult, we urge that they reach out to colleagues, friends or family for support. In addition, our managers are available for confidential chats or we can provide free access to a helpline staffed with qualified counsellors.
It is also possible to either self-refer or be referred for psychological therapy. Using this link on the NHS website, you simply enter your location – a town or postcode – and a list of services will be provided with details to phone them.
Alternatively, Shout has a 24/7 messaging support service which is free on all major mobile networks. To start a conversation, simply send a message with FRONTLINE to 85258. They also provide a couple of video tips to help while waiting to be connected.
To speak with someone directly, there are a variety of helplines. We’ve included a few here, but a comprehensive list can be found on the NHS website.
- Anxiety UK
03444 775 774 (Mon – Fri, 9.30am – 10pm; Sat – Sun, 10am to 8pm)
0300 123 3393 (Mon – Fri, 9am – 6pm)
- Rethink Mental Illness
0300 5000 927 (Mon – Frid, 9.30am – 4pm)
116 123 (free 24-hour helpline)
0300 304 7000 (daily, 4.30pm – 10.30pm)
Ways to manage wellbeing
We’ve highlighted here just a few ways to help look after your physical, emotional and mental health.
Regular physical activity is well known to reduce stress while improving anxiety, tension and sleep. Aim to get at least 30 minutes of moderate intensity movement at least five days per week. There are many options for finding ways to move including going out for a walk, finding an online exercise session or even just dancing around the kitchen. We are proud to say that our arrangements with the Brighton Bike Scheme and Cycle to Work also helps to keep our team active.
It goes without saying that choosing healthy foods like vegetables and fruits over highly processed items will improve a person’s wellbeing. Having said that, if this requires a lot of changes, it may be better to aim for a gradual improvement – focus on changing just one thing a day, then one thing each meal. Good nutrition is not just for your body, but your quality of life and mental health too. For more information on healthy eating, check out this Change4Life link or the NHS Eat Well link.
Add structure to your day
A daily routine can help with a sense of being more in control. It can also help a person to cope better with change and to form healthier habits, thereby aiding mental health and reducing stress.
Connect with people
Maintaining relationships with loved and trusted people is vital to wellbeing. It may not be possible to see everyone face-to-face, but nothing is more important than finding time to focus on those who matter most.
A regular sleep pattern can have a positive impact on how you feel – physically, mentally and emotionally.
Avoid perpetual checking of the news
Constant news and social media updates can make you more worried. If this is having an impact, try to limit the time spent engaging with your screens.
Resources specific to care workers
Care Workforce COVID-19 app
This app for carers has been launched to support staff through the pandemic. To join the app, you’ll first need to register which you can do here.
Help for Heroes COVID-19 resources
Help for Heroes have developed a useful Covid-19 resource for health and care staff: https://www.helpforheroes.org.uk/get-support/mental-health-and-wellbeing/a-field-guide-to-self-care/
This charity has been put together to provide care and health workers with specific advice for managing mental health during COVID-19: https://covid.minded.org.uk/
Working with NHS England, Samaritans have extended their coronavirus helpline to all social care workers: Samaritans Social Care Support Line
Resources specific to Brighton and Hove
Brighton and Hove City Council have extensive information on support to improve your general health and your mental health which can be found here: https://new.brighton-hove.gov.uk/health-and-wellbeing
Struggling with the loss of family or friends while being isolated can make grief much more intense. There are a few services that specialise in bereavement – particularly in relation to the coronavirus outbreak.
0300 303 4434 between 8am and 8pm
Cruse Bereavement Care
A broad listing of resources and guidance
At a Loss
Signposting to services across the UK
Above all, it is crucial to reach out and get help if needed.
Take care and stay safe.