Mental Health

Every year, one in four adults will experience a mental health problem. The mental health of our staff matters and we acknowledge that working for the NHS can be physically, emotionally and mentally demanding. We are committed to ensuring that our staff receive the support they need at work.

How does NUH show its commitment to staff mental health?

  • NUH is an Equal Opportunities Employer. This means that we recruit, train and support our staff on the basis of their skills and experience. We do not discriminate against staff on the basis of a mental or physical disability.
  • NUH is a Mindful Employer. This means that we take an active and positive approach to mental health and we have information packs for staff on staying mentally healthy at work and for managers  (click here) on supporting staff experiencing mental health problems.
  • Several of our policies support staff mental health and take a proactive and preventative approach, including the Work-life Balance policy (click here) and the Wellbeing and Attendance Management (click here) policy.
  • Schwartz rounds are held bi-monthly across both campuses. These open discussions are for all staff and acknowledge the emotional impact of caring. To find out more, click here.
  • Our Staff Mental Health Shared Governance Council is a team of NUH front-line staff from a variety of professions and banding levels that are passionate about improving staff mental health and making long-term, sustainable changes within the Trust. To find out more, contact the staff wellbeing team here.  

How can I keep myself mentally well?

Everybody needs to take care of their mental health on a regular basis. You might have considered taking out a gym membership to take care of your physical health. What do you do day-to-day that looks after your mental health? Get expert advice, practical tips and a personalised action plan from the NHS One You website [https://www.nhs.uk/oneyou/mental-health/ ].

I’m worried about a colleague – what should I do?

  1. Talk to them. Ask how they are feeling. You don’t need to be an expert and you don’t need to have all the answers, but showing that you are willing to listen can make a significant difference.
  2. If you’re not sure what to say, have a look at the advice from Time to Change on ‘How to support a colleague’ (link here) and Samaritans on ‘How to have a difficult conversation’ (link here). Also, encourage them to look at this page so that they are aware of the support available.
  3. If you think that someone may be in mental health crisis, follow this advice: [https://www.nhs.uk/using-the-nhs/nhs-services/mental-health-services/dealing-with-a-mental-health-crisis-or-emergency/].

What mental health support is available for NUH staff?

Where can I go for support with my mental health outside of NUH?

  • Visit your GP. You can book an emergency appointment if your symptoms are urgent.
  • You can self-refer to a psychological therapies service without seeing your GP. These offer therapies like cognitive behavioural therapy (CBT) for common problems like stress, anxiety, depression, OCD and phobias. Search here to find your local service.
  • You can talk to the Samaritans at any time of day or night. Call 116 123 or email jo@samaritans.org
  • The Mind Blue Light service offers targeted support for staff, volunteers and employers across ambulance, fire, police, and search and rescue teams.
  • For urgent, non-emergency medical advice call the NHS 111 advice line. More info here.
  • In a life-threatening emergency, visit the Emergency Department.

 

Mental Health Workshops for NUH Staff

Our Mental Health workshops have been specially designed by our Mental Wellbeing Facilitators and are open to all members of Team NUH. We are also able deliver locally to specific departments. If you would like to book a session please email us.

Introduction to Mindfulness - 1hr

Mindfulness has become a popular word of late but what is it and how do you do it? People who practice mindfulness regularly have experienced reduced stress, higher levels of resilience and  improved job satisfaction. They also report increased motivation, attention, concentration and enhanced creativity and decision making abilities. This one hour session, led by our Staff Psychological Wellbeing practitioner, will explain what mindfulness is, how you can use it, and give you an opportunity to try out some short practices.

Stress Awareness Course - 1 hr

This one hour workshop explains the concept of stress and explores what causes us stress in our everyday lives. The course will consider how we can identify when we are feeling stressed and how to tackle it. Participants will be supported in developing a ‘personal wellbeing plan’ which will enable them to begin to develop different ways of taking care of themselves.

How to build resilience workshop – 2hrs

Resilience has been described as ‘the ability to recover from setbacks, adapt well to change, and keep going in the face of adversity.’ But how do we build resilience and flourish in our lives amidst the challenges we are faced with? This two hour work shop presents evidence based tips for building resilience which have been shown to protect us from the effects of stress, it also offers the  opportunity to build a self-care plan, an essential aspect of developing and maintaining  wellbeing. 

Coping with Stress and Building Resilience - 3hr

Our Coping with Stress and Building Resilience workshop aims to introduce the concept of stress and its common symptoms. You’ll be given the opportunity to learn and practice various techniques to help you cope with stress. This includes an introduction to mindfulness and compassion based approaches. These aim to help you to take better care of yourself and improve your quality of life at home and work. The workshop lasts for 3hrs and you will be provided with handouts to take away.

Lets Talk Mental Health - 2hr

This two hour workshop aims to start people talking more about mental health, both our own mental health that of our colleagues, friends and family. During this workshop we will explore  how we all have varying mental health throughout our lives depending on our life circumstances and how to notice and support someone who has deteriorating mental health. 

The course covers:

  • common myths and stigma around mental ill health.
  • how we look after our own mental health
  • how to build resilience in dealing with stress to support good mental wellbeing
  • developing  a personal wellbeing plan
  • Signposting to mental health services or talking therapies.

 

Mental Health First Aid at NUH

We know that many staff members have expressed an interest in becoming a Mental Health First Aider, a relatively new package of training and resources. Our Staff Wellbeing Steering Group and Staff Mental Health Council have been exploring how we can implement this training at NUH. To support those giving and receiving the training, we need to implement robust governance processes and support structures, which will take some time to establish. We're therefore asking all managers to wait for the NUH process to be agreed, before pursuing any independent training.

In the meantime, we're setting up a network of mental health champions to cascade relevant support information and develop new workshops called Let’s Talk Mental Health. If you have any trained Mental Health First Aiders in your local area, please flag these individuals to the Staff Wellbeing team, who are collating a list of trained colleagues.

 

The Staff Mental Health Council

The Staff Mental Health Council was formed in December 2018 as part of the Shared Governance Model aimed at empowering staff to improve staff experience in the workplace. The Staff MH Council is open to any member of NUH staff who is interested in being involved in improving the mental health of staff at NUH. The Council acts as a reference group, campaigns for improvements at an organisational level and develops specific initiatives. Examples of work to date include contributing to the 2018 National Staff Survey to ask staff about their mental health, analysing the results and preparing a report for the trust with a series of recommendations, putting together resources on supporting staff mental health for the staff wellbeing website and working towards the Time to Change workplace pledge.

Meetings take place monthly and staff are entitled to use work time to attend and for project work of up to 6 hours per month. New council members will need to complete the shared governance training and attend regular meetings of the council. If you’re interested in becoming part of the Staff MH Council please contact staffwellbeing@nuh.nhs.uk

 

I have more questions about staff mental health support – who should I contact?

Contact us on ext. 84771 or email staffwellbeing@nuh.nhs.uk

 

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