It’s vitally important to understand and support people at this time of great mental stress and think about how to support your own mental wellbeing as well as the mental wellbeing of your staff, the people you support and their families.

Use of self-help apps

There are many free apps that can be downloaded that help with relaxation techniques, stress management and mental wellbeing. Encouraging staff (and allowing yourself) to take some time every day to rest and to use these will help manage their emotions. Examples include

  • Moodfit
  • Chill Panda
  • Cove
  • eQuoo
  • Feeling Good
  • Thrive etc.

An NHS Helpline has been set up and is in partnership with Headspace, Unmind and Big Health to offer support for NHS and Social Care frontline staff. You can contact them by calling 0300 131 7000 or texting FRONTLINE to 85258.

  • Useful for: getting support to staff in a quick and practical way.
  • Equipment required: A laptop, tablet or smartphone which can access the internet.
Physical exercise and getting outdoors

Though the advice is to socially distance oneself where possible at present, there is nothing to stop you and your staff getting out for a walk, run or cycle if you maintain a safe distance from others. This can be supported by apps such as step counting apps, smartwatches, Couch To 5k, etc. Encouraging time for this, both for yourself and others, can help to manage stressful feelings. Exercise can also be undertaken inside and there are online yoga sessions or armchair based exercises available to guide you through the basics.

  • Useful for: stress relief, keeping physically fit, distraction!
  • Equipment required: None. If using an app then access to a laptop, tablet or smartphone which can access the internet. 
Supporting each other

Keeping staff connected with each other, to support each other, is also important. Use of a closed Facebook group or a WhatsApp chat group can help staff feel supported by colleagues. This may be particularly important where people are working alone. If you are a Registered Manager, you can use Skills for Care’s Facebook group to seek support from other RM’s.

  • Useful for: keeping staff morale up, spotting if people are struggling.
  • Equipment required: At least one computer, laptop, tablet or smartphone which can access the internet.