NHS carers’ mental wellbeing on the line
Updated: Apr 16, 2020
#HighFiveOurNHS – a not-for-profit initiative launched to help connect carers with thousands of hours of counselling provided by volunteer mental wellbeing specialists.
Over the past few weeks the calls to support the NHS in terms of life-saving machines, additional staff, personal protective equipment (PPE) and much more has intensified exponentially as a result of the COVID-19 pandemic. In spite of these deficiencies, which even a world-class service like the NHS has to endure, it is genuinely a case of ‘all hands on deck’. We’ve already seen numerous initiatives and events on both broadcast and online social media, praising the herculean effort of NHS carers.
So now is the time to seriously address another deficiency that is not talked about very much, namely the mental health and wellbeing of these extraordinary individuals. We freely and constantly praise the people behind the NHS, for their almost superhuman commitment to keep us thriving and stop the entire system from collapsing. However, let us not forget they are still people like us. They have mental limits just like us. Add to this equation an unprecedented number of working hours (there are 1.2 million NHS carers looking after a population 67 million), the loss of so many patients under individual care and the awareness of being exposed to a deadly virus. It is unthinkable to deny the toll this will have on mental well-being, even for a superhuman member of the NHS.
In light of this, Dr. Craig Newman, a Clinical Psychologist working for the NHS has drafted more than 1,300 mental wellbeing specialists and therapists who are willing to volunteer their services for free to counsel NHS frontline carers during this crisis. “The NHS are predicting a massive mental health need post-COVID-19, meaning that this may be the only lifeline for staff - who will be expected to address the post-COVID needs” says Dr. Newman.
At this very moment, an online platform connecting NHS carers with volunteer wellbeing experts is being engineered and built by private sector companies who have donated their services to the cause. Initially Dr. Newman has set a goal of providing at least 20,000 hours of free counselling per month. But this is just the beginning of a larger initiative to continue supporting the NHS’ mental wellbeing even after we’ve come out of the COVID-19 storm. After all, this addresses a need that has been overlooked for far too long, even before we heard the word “coronavirus”.
As part of this initiative, a not-for-profit organisation flying under the banner HIGH FIVE OUR NHS has been set up to raise funds to help maintain this essential service beyond its immediate necessity. This is an urgent appeal for financial aid from both the public and from companies who would like to do their bit to get this essential service off the ground.
Currently High Five Our NHS is supported by a wide range of national bodies and organisations, including: Organisation 1, Organisation 2, Organisation 3, Organisation 4, Organisation 5, Organisation 6 and Organisation 7.
More importantly, the list is growing - a clear indication of the urgency for a mental wellbeing service NHS carers need and deserve.
To encourage public support for this initiative an awareness and fundraising campaign will also be launched on all media. What is being asked for is quite simple, #HighFiveOurNHS with a donation and share this news with anyone and everyone.
Ultimately, this is an opportunity for us as a nation to continue supporting the NHS in a way that can truly make a difference.
For more information, please contact:
Lisa Kramer at firstname.lastname@example.org