A national helpline offering 24-hour-a-day mental health support for health and social care staff in Scotland has opened.
The health and social care workforce mental wellbeing support line (0800 111 4191) will be operated by NHS 24 from today (20 July).
Trained practitioners will provide a compassionate listening service and psychological first aid to callers.
There will be no automatic notifications to GPs or employers. Onward referral will only be with the caller’s consent.
It follows the success of the National Wellbeing Hub for staff launched in May.
‘I am deeply grateful for the hard work, commitment and professionalism of those working in health and social care services at this time of unprecedented challenge,’ said Scottish mental health minister, Clare Haughey.
‘The National Wellbeing Hub has had over 30,000 online visits since its launch in May and the new helpline will complement that service. Whatever your role and wherever you work, I would encourage you to make use of the many resources on the Hub, including advice on managing stress and anxiety, fatigue, sleep, relaxation and exercise.
‘For those who need one-on-one support, the new mental wellbeing support line will be available around the clock to help staff access appropriate additional support,’ she added.
‘We are continuing to monitor the impact of the pandemic on our valued workforce and will do our best to ensure that appropriate support services are put in place to help them.’
Stephanie Phillips, director of Service Delivery at NHS 24, added: ‘NHS 24 are delighted to support our partners by offering this helpline to complement existing services. Our Psychological Wellbeing Practitioners will respond with compassion and empathy to offer support whenever it’s needed. Health and social care staff look after us – this is one way in which we are looking after them.
‘We know that for everyone calling us, being listened to, and knowing that someone cares, is really important in difficult times. This is just as important to our health and social care colleagues as to those they care for.’
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