Call us if you need us: mental health charity’s message to nurses in distress

Laura Hyde Foundation offers online support for healthcare staff during COVID-19 pandemic

An image from the campaign

A nationwide campaign to urge health workers to seek mental health support during the COVID-19 pandemic has been launched.

The No Mask for Mental Health campaign which will appear on TV and social media, features workers discussing the strain the pandemic has placed on their mental health.

One nurse appears saying: ‘I think I’ve aged ten years in the last ten hours. I need to write a will. Why haven’t I written a will?’

Offer of online mental health consultations as spike in calls coincides with pandemic

Alongside raising awarenesss, the campaign, set up by the Laura Hyde Foundation, a charity providing mental health support to healthcare and emergency services professionals, encourages individuals to get in touch to book online consultations. 

The campaign is in response to an increased number of calls the foundation has received. Between February and April it received up to 84 requests for help a day. This compares to up to 45 a day in the same period in 2019.

Trustee Imogen Landers said: ‘Unfortunately there is no personal protective equipment for the mind’.

‘We’re calling on the government to ensure every NHS trust in the country can deliver acute mental health care to staff at the point of need.’ 

Contact the Laura Hyde Foundation

Responding, a Department of Health and Social Care spokesperson said supporting staff during this period was a top priority.

‘We have a range of services available to staff, including the launch last month of a mental health hotline,’ they said.

‘Anyone struggling should come forward to a colleague, their occupational health team or the helpline so that they can get the help and support they need.’

Tokens of affection close the social distancing gap

Meanwhile, Calderdale and Huddersfield NHS Foundation Trust has introduced an initiative encouraging staff to swap heart-shaped tokens with colleagues instead of hugs during the COVID-19 pandemic.

The tokens bear the words: ‘Hug token for a key worker.’

Trust chief nurse Clare Vickers said they ‘show that hugs can travel distances’.

‘My hug is kept at the side of my bed, and my daughter keeps borrowing it,' she said. 

The trust has also introduced 'digital hugs' over email and has posted tea bags and biscuits to staff working from home.

Related material 

No Mask for Mental Health

In other news