Wellbeing support hubs have been set up to support NHS staff at risk of suffering from mental health issues during the pandemic.
The NHS has confirmed that 40 support hubs across the UK will offer staff access to mental health services and 18 hubs are already up and running.
The news comes after widespread concern over the strain placed on healthcare staff fighting the virus.
Workers are being encouraged to reach out directly for help and hubs are proactively contacting the staff groups who are most at-risk.
In January 2021, a survey for Unison of 14,000 healthcare workers found that almost 50% were struggling to cope while 51% had sought mental health support as a result of working on the frontline of the pandemic.
The hubs are confidential and free of charge, with the majority of services provided online.
Staff can access the hubs over the phone or online before being referred to one-to-one expert help from qualified mental health clinicians.
In October 2020, NHS England and NHS Improvement invested an extra £15 million to improve mental health support for healthcare staff.
The following support hubs are now in full operation: Lancashire and South Cumbria; Greater Manchester; North East and North Cumbria; Black Country and West Yorkshire; Birmingham and Solihull; Nottinghamshire; Leicester, Leicestershire and Rutland; Norfolk and Suffolk; Bedfordshire; Luton and Milton Keynes; Hertfordshire and Essex; North EastLondon; North West London; Kent and Medway; Sussex; Frimley; Buckinghamshire; Oxfordshire and Berkshire west; Surrey; Dorset.
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