‘Supporting the Mental Health of NHS Staff’ is the first in a series of three resources designed to help NHS leaders to look after the mental health of their workforce.
The resource series has been funded by the British Medical Association (BMA), developed by mental health charity, Mind, and is available to download from the Mental Health at Work website.
The BMA and Mind have found two significant barriers that are stopping frontline healthcare workers from accessing the support they need:
• Failure of senior leadership to create cultures where mental health and wellbeing is prioritised
• The stigma that is associated with mental health issues and services.
This first in the series examines the role of NHS leaders in reducing mental health stigma and creating mentally healthy cultures, providing practical advice and tips to help NHS leaders and line managers to address these issues.
As feedback demonstrates the importance of the support that colleagues provide to each other, the resource also looks at the role of champions and peer supporters.
COVID-19 has led to an increase in work-related stress for the NHS workforce, with a negative impact on mental health and wellbeing. However, this resource series recognises that the barriers to good mental health support within the health services are not new; they have been there for a long time. The introduction states:
“Whilst providing individuals with information about self-care, support for their mental health and access to effective interventions is essential, this can only be done alongside tackling the work-related causes of poor mental health within the NHS workforce if true systemic change can take place.”
Two further resources in this series will be published throughout February and March, focusing on the role of NHS line managers in supporting better mental health and the role of champions and peer supporters.