Royal boost to helpline for NHS, care workers and emergency services.

The Duchess of Cambridge talks to emergency service staff to hear about the emotional challenges they are facing

A national COVID-19 helpline for NHS and Care workers -  which Saint Michael’s specialist emotional wellbeing and bereavement support service has been helping to provide -  is to be extended to ‘blue light’ emergency services, thanks to a boost from a Royal Foundation grant.

The Royal Foundation of The Duke and Duchess of Cambridge has granted nearly £1.8 million to charities to support the frontline community through a bespoke fund set up as part of the organisation’s response to COVID-19.

Saint Michael’s Just ‘B’ service has been working with national charity Hospice UK since April to provide bereavement, trauma and emotional wellbeing support to key workers. This new grant will see this support opened up to emergency service workers and extended for two years.

As part of the frontline telephone service, our Just ‘B’ team are on hand 12 hours a day, seven days a week for any key worker who has experienced a bereavement, whose wellbeing has been affected by witnessing traumatic deaths as part of their work, or simply to discuss any anxiety or emotional wellbeing issues they may have experienced as a result of the coronavirus pandemic.

Just ‘B’ is made up of a team of trained and qualified volunteers and staff, from backgrounds, such as counselling, health care, social work and education, who are ready to help.

The Duchess of Cambridge said:  “Over recent months we have all been in awe of the incredible work that frontline staff and emergency responders have been doing in response to COVID-19, but we know that for many of them, their families, and for thousands of others across the UK, the pandemic will have a lasting impact on their mental health.”

Saint Michael’s and Just ‘B’s chief executive Tony Collins said: “We are proud to be part of this support network with Hospice UK and pleased able to extend this service to support our colleagues in the NHS, social care sector and the emergency services.

“We know they have been dealing with some of most challenging situations imaginable. So they fully deserve our support in return and this helpline is a meaningful and real way we can do this by sharing our skills and resources on a national level, to support people doing an incredible job to help others.”

Any frontline worker from NHS, social or care services or the emergency services can access bereavement, trauma or emotional wellbeing support by calling: 0300 303 4434 or visiting https://people.nhs.uk/help/

 

ENDS

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