The British Psychological Society (BPS) today welcomed plans by the NHS to launch a mental health hotline as part of a package of measures to support the NHS’s 1.4 million staff as they help people deal with the coronavirus.
BPS President David Murphy, said: ‘The coronavirus crisis has placed unprecedented demands on staff working in health and social care.
‘Not only are they facing long hours, intense work and a risk of infection, but they are also managing psychological distress of patients, offering care at the end of life, and supporting bereaved families. This is true for both clinical staff and non-clinical staff working at the frontline.
‘We welcome the news from NHS England that this hotline and free access to a suite of apps will be made available to NHS staff as part of a comprehensive national plan to support the psychological well-being of the many thousands of healthcare workers who are responding to this pandemic, which we have contributed to.
‘Our own guidance, published last week, outlines a stepped approach to meeting the psychological needs of staff which highlights the benefit of accessible information and support that is built on a foundation of meeting basic physical needs, a psychologically safe workplace and facilitating peer support. A smaller proportion of staff will also need timely access to more specialist psychological intervention.
‘It’s important that all of the components are delivered as part of a joined-up approach to physical and psychological well-being that normalises psychological responses and builds on existing staff support provision and psychological services.’