Frontline staff who have to care for coronavirus patients will be given mental health support as experts have put together free resources for those who need psychological help.
NHS In Mind is designed to assist the 1.4 million NHS employees who are caring for patients suffering from Covid-19 by providing eight interventions and exercises to help staff deal with anxiety, panic and fatigue.
It was set up by experienced Senior NHS Nurse and qualified Cognitive Behavioural Hypnotherapist Slee Parrish, together with Cognitive Behavioural Hypnotherapist and Mindfulness teacher Alex James.
A spokesperson for the service said: “With the large number of patients expected to need treatment in the coming months NHS staff are going to be working round the clock. The psychological and physical effects on our workforce are going to be huge with high levels of anxiety, stress and fatigue being at the forefront.”
The resources include tutorial videos, YouTube links, and recorded exercises, with exercises having been chosen so they are most appropriate for NHS employees and what they are going through at this time.
An example of the exercises are box breathing to combat panic and anxiety; progressive muscle relaxation to relieve stress; ego-strengthening hypnosis to build confidence and self-esteem; Jencks time progression to provide the deepest feeling of rest in four minutes; and three-minute breathing space to control negative moods.
Nursing Times is also trying to support those in the profession by launching a new campaign called Covid-19: Are you okay?.
This initiative emphasises the pressures that are on nurses at the moment, with so much demand having been placed on medical staff during the pandemic.
Some of the difficulties nurses have had to deal with over the last few weeks include a lack of personal protective equipment (PPE), staff shortages as many have had to self-isolate, being deployed to other teams, the risks of exposing not just themselves but their families to the virus, as well as grieving the death of colleagues who have not survived the illness.
The combination of these factors will have a long-lasting impact on these professionals, which is why Nursing Times has launched the campaign to ensure they are able to receive the right support even after the pandemic has come to an end.
“We plan to lobby for both short- and long-term support, with the aid of charities and politicians, and to work with organisations to highlight the existing help on offer,” the publication stated, adding: “The current crisis represents an opportunity to shine a bright light on the long-neglected area of nurse’s mental health and wellbeing, which we believe should be a positive legacy.”
It is not just frontline staff who are being deeply affected by the crisis, and other key workers, those in vulnerable groups or people who are simply struggling with lockdown could find this time extremely challenging.
In this case, an online therapist who can give you help during the lockdown period would be well worth getting in touch with.