Mental Health Awareness: Kindness and support ‘more important than ever’ - says East and North Herts NHS chief

PUBLISHED: 09:44 20 May 2020 | UPDATED: 12:38 20 May 2020

The Health@Work team have been offering mental health support and advice at Lister Hospital. Picture: East and North Hertfordshire NHS Trust

The Health@Work team have been offering mental health support and advice at Lister Hospital. Picture: East and North Hertfordshire NHS Trust

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The chief executive of the East and North Hertfordshire NHS Trust has said kindness and support are “more important than ever”, as the trust marks Mental Health Awareness Week.

Midwives Sophie Copping (L) and Claire Sookun-Hull in the Diamond Jubilee Maternity Unit 'wobble' room. Picture: East and North Hertfordshire NHS TrustMidwives Sophie Copping (L) and Claire Sookun-Hull in the Diamond Jubilee Maternity Unit 'wobble' room. Picture: East and North Hertfordshire NHS Trust

Nick Carver, who oversees the trust, says the wellbeing of colleagues is a “top priority”, and highlighted the importance of having regular conversations about mental health.

This week, the team has been promoting its ‘Pay It Forward’ initiative – where colleagues are encouraged to do something kind for someone else without an expectation that it has to be returned.

Instead they are asked, if comfortable, to ‘Pay It Forward’ by doing something kind – the theme for Mental Health Awareness Week – for three of their colleagues.

The trust – which runs Lister Hospital in Stevenage, Mount Vernon Cancer Centre in Northwood and the New QEII Hospital in Welwyn Garden City, has a dedicated Health@Work service where staff can be signposted to support and a ‘How Are You Doing?’ team which provides and promotes wellbeing resources and offers regular check-ins with staff.

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In response to COVID-19, new wellbeing areas have been set up – a ‘wobble room’ at the Lister’s Diamond Jubilee Maternity Unit being just one example – so staff have private areas to support each other.

Further to this, on Tuesday, the trust’s Health@Work team was providing a listening ear to staff and offering wellbeing advice at the Lister.

Nick Carver, Chief Executive of East and North Hertfordshire NHS Trust, said: “Fantastic team working and a continued concern for each other’s wellbeing must be at the heart of all we do.

“Being kind to each other and offering mental health support to our staff has always been essential, but in these challenging times it has become more important than ever.

“The wellbeing of colleagues is a top priority for the trust, and it is vital that we continue to create environments where staff feel comfortable to talk about their mental health and know what support is available.”

Hosted by the Mental Health Foundation, Mental Health Awareness Week has been held every year in the UK since 2001 and aims to raise awareness and promote the message of good mental health for everyone.


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