During Mental Health Awareness Week, we have found out some more about the specially set up "Listen Hear" service for staff during the Covid-19 pandemic. The theme for this year's Mental Health Awareness Week is kindness, so let’s not discount being kind to ourselves at this challenging time when we are under immense pressure, and many of us are experiencing an emotional response to the current uncertainty.
Listen Hear was set up by Dr Joanna Lofthouse and Soren Stauffer-Kruse, two highly experienced counselling psychologists, with support from William Taylor (Head of Occupational Health) and in co-operation with the NELFT Clinical Health Psychology Service.
"We are very mindful of the stoicism "let’s just get on and do it" outlook that exists amongst many staff members, so we really wanted to create a service that staff could use when they feel that they are not quite themselves; when they are feeling the effects of stress and anxiety and when they are struggling with issues to do with work or home.
"It was important to us that this service differed from our existing psychological therapy service. Listen Hear gives staff an opportunity to "drop in" to psychological support, without the commitment of a course of psychological therapy. Staff do not need to go through or disclose anything to their manager; they can simply send an email to the service whenever they feel ready."
"We would really encourage staff to begin to use this service before they reach breaking point. When they begin to feel an emotional niggle, we would encourage people to drop Listen Hear an email and have the opportunity to check things out. Genuinely, no issue is too small, and this is a service for everyone - administrative, clinical, medical, technical, and management staff alike, and anyone in between. Of course, if we feel that someone would benefit froma more formal therapy, we have the capacity to assist with onward referrals to the most appropriate service."
If you are struggling with work or life outside of work, feel like you have a low mood or anxiety, or would just really like someone to talk to, take advantage of this service. You do not have to wait until you are in crisis - this is a service for anyone who would like to talk.
Listen Hear is available to all staff from 7am to 11pm seven days a week. More information on the well-being services available during this time can be found on our staff-only intranet