Salford mental health charity ‘Start Inspiring Minds’, through its multi award winning ‘Reach Out; Start to End Suicide’ campaign, in partnership with ‘Salford Royal NHS Trust’ are crowdfunding ‘Everyday Mental Health Heroes of the NHS’ which sees Salford Royal NHS staff supported to create a positive & supportive mental health workplace for all and to save lives being lost to suicide.
Front-line Healthcare Workers often suffer from anxiety, depression, burnout, insomnia, stress-related disorders and suicide. This is mediated to a large extent by the biopsychological vulnerabilities of the individuals and socioenvironmental factors such as the risk of exposure to infection, job-related stress, perceived stigma and psychological impact of the isolation/quarantine and interpersonal distancing also play the major roles. This is why nurses and doctors are at high risk to dying by suicide (BMJ, 2020).
In just six years between 2011 and 2017, at least 307 NHS nurses took their own lives (ONS,2018). Despite the huge magnitude of mental health problems among the front-line Healthcare Workers, their psychological health is often overlooked. Front-line healthcare workers play a crucial role in providing care to Covid-19 infected patients. Working in such an unprecedented situation, usually beyond their capacities, and with a risk of contracting the infection themselves, poses Healthcare Workers at an even higher risk of mental health problems and suicide in the future.
In response START’s multi awarding campaign Reach Out; Start to End Suicide and Salford Royal NHS Foundation Trust will deliver the Everyday Mental Health Hero’s Pilot on Salford Royals acute care wards. It’ll inspire, educate and empower them to meaningfully connect with people around them, raise awareness, improve attitudes and increase dialogue on suicide, while improving resilience, saving lives and challenge stigma.
The ‘Everyday Mental Health Heroes’ will see the implementation of this three stage model:
LEARN – Through online mental health, wellbeing and suicide prevention training
PLEDGE- after completion of the online training, they will make a pledge to commit to reaching out when they are or when they notice others struggling on a large display board, reinforcing the commitment.
WEAR- By choosing to wear the flag badge, staff are sending a message that “you can talk to me” both to their colleagues and patients. Wearing the flag badge doesn’t mean they are expected to have the answers to all issues and concerns, but they are a friendly ear and will know how to signpost to the support available.
Councillor Jim Cammell, Executive Support Member for Social Care and Mental Health, Salford City Council said ‘Front Line health workers have sacrificed so much for us over the last year throughout the Covid-19 pandemic and continue to do so as we start to make ground on living with Covid-19. There is a massive amount of work to be done on clearing the waiting lists that have built up since last year so the pressure is very much still on for our Front Line Health Heroes. I fully support this really important project which is needed now, more than ever, as health workers have battled through the toughest year since the formation of the NHS. I would like to encourage everyone that can to support this critically important work, creating ‘Everyday Mental Health Heroes of the NHS’ to support their colleagues through the most challenging of circumstances and encourage them to reach out for help if they are struggling with their mental health.’
Dennis Baldwin, Reach Out; Start to End Suicide Project Manager said, ‘Sadly we were overlooked for the funding needed to deliver this crucial project through the traditional channels, owing it to being an ‘internal HR issue’. I don’t believe that. This not just a HR issue, it affects all of us. We have seen how these people have saved countless lives being lost, not just to COVID, under incredibly stressful conditions. Over time this will take a toll on their mental health. We need to be there for them, helping them, supporting them when they need it most.
We know that this project is ground breaking, and we know that it will provide the much needed support to and saving lives being lost to suicide of our frontline heroes of the NHS. Please help us by donating to our crowdfunding campaign and help us to help them when they need it most’.
The ‘Everyday Mental Health Heroes of the NHS’ Campaign is part of the ‘Crowdfund Salford’, a brand new scheme to help local people turn their great ideas into reality.
Launched by Salford City Mayor Paul Dennett, the scheme is open to anyone from Salford, including residents, community groups, individuals, local businesses, charities, social enterprises and grassroots sports clubs. Up to £10,000 match funding is available for ideas that create a brighter future for Salford.
Visit www.crowdfunder.co.uk/everyday-mental-health-heroes-of-the-nhs to support and contribute to the ‘Everyday Mental Health Heroes of the NHS’ crowdfunding campaign.
To keep up to date and join ‘Reach Out; Start to End Suicide’ visit: www.startinspiringminds.org.uk/reachout and follow us on social media @ReachOutSTES