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  • Writer's pictureTracy Dixon

Free Counselling for NHS Workers

Updated: Nov 12, 2021

NHS staff have been working flat out for almost two years since the first case of COVID 19 hit the UK. Their workload has been relentless and, according to a survey published online by Kings College London, nearly half of Intensive Care (ICU) staff are likely to meet the threshold for PTSD, severe anxiety or problem drinking during the COVID-19 pandemic.

Of course, it's not just ICU staff. It is paramedics, nurses, admin staff, porters, doctors. Anyone who has been working in the NHS during this time may have been exposed to chronic stress caused by increased workload, higher mortality rates, longer working hours, and of course many have been faced with breaking bad news to loved ones on a far more frequent basis than before COVID 19.

NHS staff can access help with their mental wellbeing and often this is provided free of charge. It may be provided via your GP, IAPT service or Occupational Health. Your workplace may also have access to an Employee Assistance Programme which often includes counselling support.

With this in mind, you may want your line manager or GP to be your first point of contact, however these organisations offer additional sources of support and may be helpful to you.

These are the ones that I know about, I am sure there are many more so please do add any that you know about in the comments section below.

Some of these organisations may be able to help others, not just NHS staff. Some offer 'support and advice' rather than counselling.

Frontline 19 - Up to 12 counselling sessions for free.

Association of Christian Counsellors - provides up to 8 sessions free. Although the counsellors are Christian, this service is open to people of all faiths.

Duty to Care Online resources and access to one to one support including up to 20 different therapies.

Able Futures A nationwide specialist partnership set up to provide the Access to Work Mental Health Support Service on behalf of the Department for Work and Pensions. Not specifically for NHS staff but for anyone who is in work. Able Futures can give you nine months support, guidance and advice from a mental health professional at no cost to you.

Project 5 FREE, independent and confidential wellbeing support, up to 3 sessions when you need them. The support is provided by ‘helping profession’ volunteers including coaches and health & social care practitioners.

NHS Practitioner Health - Helping the NHS workforce to access mental health care and support. Please contact them for more information.

I also offer reduced fees to NHS staff. Please get in touch if this is of interest.

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