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NHS Supporting our People

In the current climate of increasing pressures on our healthcare system, our NHS people potentially face significant stresses.

The NHS has introduced a confidential staff support line, operated by the Samaritans and free to access from 7am–11pm, seven days a week.

National Support Helpline

Call: 0300 131 7000

This support line is here for when you’ve had a tough day, are feeling worried or overwhelmed, or maybe you have a lot on your mind and need to talk it through. Trained advisers can help with signposting and confidential listening.

Alternatively, you can text

FRONTLINE to 85258

for support 24/7 via text

Bereavement Support Line

Call: 0300 303 4434

We also have a confidential bereavement support line, operated by Hospice UK and free to access from 8:00am – 8:00pm, seven days a week.

A team of fully qualified and trained bereavement specialists are available to support you with bereavement and wellbeing issues relating to loss experienced through your work.

You will be offered up to 3 sessions with the same counsellor and onward support to our staff mental health services if you need.

Staff Common Rooms

The staff common room is an opportunity for our NHS people to come together virtually and support each other during this difficult time. The staff common rooms are a safe and supportive environment through which colleagues can continue to stay mentally well. They are open to anyone working in the NHS.

NHS National support services during COVID-19

NHS England and NHS Improvement are pleased to announce the first in a series of psychological support for all NHS staff during the COVID-19 outbreak. They recognise it is really important to look after your own health and wellbeing, whilst supporting patients and your family.
The following wellbeing apps are FREE to all NHS staff to use. Additional self-help apps and support will be available over the next few weeks.

Combined Staff Support and Counselling Services

We have set up a specific COVID Support Helpline so you can speak to members of our team as and when you require. This service operates Mon-Fri, 10am – 4pm.

You can contact us on our number to access the Support Helpline;

Call: 0300 124 0104 

All our other regular services are still running by contacting the same number above, so you can still;

  • Make self-referrals for short term counselling services
  • Access Critical Incident Stress Management Support in the form of Debriefing (none COVID related) and Defusing Sessions

We offer up to 8 sessions which each last around 50 minutes. We can also offer support in signposting to other services should that be appropriate too. We are usually able to see clients within 10 working days of self-referral.

During lockdown, we are following social distancing guidance and we are conducting our sessions virtually through video calls. For those that don’t have access or feel comfortable using this technology, we can also carry out our sessions over the telephone.

For more information, see our dedicated intranet pages here

Our Vivup Employee Assistance Programme (EAP) provides a range of information and practical support for problems at work and home including:

Anxiety | Bereavement | Stress | Depression | Workplace Issues | Trauma | Relationships | Finances |  Family Difficulties

Our Vivup Employee Assistance Programme (EAP) offers you:

  • Support, advice and information to help with your mental health and wellbeing
  • Telephone access to appropriately qualified professionals 24 hours a day, 7 days a week, 365 days a year
  • Independent confidential counselling support provided by caring and suitably qualified personnel
  • An online Cognitive Behavioural Therapy (CBT) programme and an extensive range of CBT workbooks
  • Help at any time, available 24/7, 365 days a year 03303 800658* or to find the full range of services available, visit vivup.co.uk

Our Vivup EAP service complies with Employee Assistance Professionals Association standards of practice and professional guidelines for EAPs and to the standards of the counsellors’ professional bodies

All counsellors and psychotherapists are members of their relevant professional body

Confidential, impartial assistance for life’s ups and downs.

Coaching Support

Our working environment and ways of working has changed as a result of Covid-19. As such our approaches to leading may also need to change and adapt. 

Our internal team of qualified coaches are ready to complement our psychological wellbeing offer by helping you to enhance your leadership skills, gain clarity, direction and help realise both your own and your team’s potential, thereby improving performance.

To discuss your requirements and help match you to a coach, please contact Michèle Wilcox, OD Practitioner, via email at Michele.Wilcox@combined.nhs.uk or MS Teams.

In addition, there is the NHS ‘Inclusive Coaching and Mentoring West Midlands’ pool of coaches and mentors, specifically providing support to NHS staff who have supervisory responsibility, which can be accessed through this link

For more information about coaching and mentoring please follow this link to our coaching and mentoring intranet page.