Helping Your Colleagues
Are you supporting colleagues and friends?
The exceptional pressure that health and care staff have been under during this pandemic may go largely unnoticed to some, but if you live with someone that has worked on the frontline throughout this pandemic you may be seeing the toll it has or is taking.
If you are concerned about the mental health of a colleague or friend who you think is struggling as a result of working through the pandemic and the experiences they have encountered there are many ways you can help them. There are some tips and links to resources below.
What can you do to help?
It is important to let the person you are worried about know that you are there for them and either simply thinking of them or available to talk. By opening the lines of communication with them and checking in it lets them know they have somewhere to turn to. You can do this via telephone, video message or even a simple text.
If they do decide to open up and talk to you, it is important for you to know that it is not up to you to fix things for them. You are not an expert and cannot always solve people’s problems, but by simply listening you can help them manage how they are feeling.
Be sure to keep the lines of communication open. If they do not respond initially, try again, it might just not have been the right time for them. If they do engage and you are worried that they are not sharing how they really feel, do not be afraid to ask again. Sometimes people need an extra chance to open up.
The MindEd COVID-19 Resilience Hub has content designed to be rapidly accessible and provide quick help when needed.
If someone needs help now, you can direct them to our support service helpline or chat function. The service is open from 8am to 8pm, every day, including weekends and bank holidays.
Or call the freephone number 0808 1963833.
Outside of these hours, help is available from the Samaritans, on freephone 116 123.
Signposting colleagues to other sources of support
If you are concerned about the mental health of a colleague or friend who you think is struggling as a result of working through the pandemic and the experiences they have encountered, you can help them by signposting them to self-refer to the West Yorkshire Health Partnership psychological assessment and therapy service, specially set up to help.
This link asks them to complete a couple of questionnaires that might help them decide if such support would be useful for them at this time. If they choose to proceed, they can fill in a referral form that asks them to share a bit of information with us so that we can match their needs with a therapist that is best placed to help them.
Please ask the person to complete this themselves – you cannot do this for them as it asks about their personal experience. The information will be forwarded securely to our therapy team who will seek to be in touch within 72 hours (excluding bank holidays) with next steps.
If they would prefer to have an initial conversation with a trained counsellor about their situation or would like help to complete the referral form please ask them to call 0800 183 1488 or click here to chat online. Telephone and chat are available 8am – 8pm every day.