Sheffield Health and Social Care (SHSC) NHS Foundation Trust are raising awareness of a new mental health support initiative for the public but also NHS staff working during the current coronavirus outbreak.

Alongside the national support that is available on Every Mind Matters, Sheffield IAPT (Improving Access to Psychological Therapies) provides free support over the phone or online. They are extended this offer for NHS staff by offering a free place on their new four-week long ‘Coping with COVID’ online mental health course.

The course will be live streamed so staff can take part from home. It will explore at everything from the importance of a routine and managing worry, to sleep and how to calm our bodies. Mental health experts will be on hand to answer any questions staff may have as part of the session.The course is open to any staff living or working in Sheffield. SHSC encourage colleagues to share with patients, colleagues, friends and family.

With staff all across the NHS having to work in new ways and under greater pressure, there's an increasing sense of how NHS workers' mental health might be affected - and duly needs looking after like every one else. Whether this relates to missing family, friends and loved ones or being unable to partake in activities they might usually enjoy. Naturally it is noted that this can leave staff feeling stressed, anxious or worried.

Participants will be able to ask questions to NHS mental health professionals throughout the session.

Toni Wilkinson, Head of Sheffield IAPT, said:

“The Coronavirus pandemic is a challenging time for all of us. There have been so many changes that we have to adapt to. We’re all missing our friends and families, we can’t do the things we normally do and some of us are out of work or working from home. It’s natural for these things to cause worry, stress, frustration or impact on our sleep – but that’s where IAPT can help.

“We want the people of Sheffield to know that it’s okay to not be okay at the moment, but if you are feeling stressed, worried or down, we’re here to help. Speaking to someone will make a big difference, and we know it can be difficult to take that first step and ask for help. All you need to do is give us a call and one of our team can help find the best support for you.”

To sign up to the course call 0114 226 4380.

You can find out more about the support on offer from Sheffield IAPT, including mental health support for anyone suffering with a long-term health condition, by visiting IAPT Sheffield website.