Today (22nd February 2021) sees the launch of the Humber, Coast and Vale Health and Care Partnership Mental Health Resilience Hub, which aims to provide vital mental health and wellbeing support services for frontline health and care staff affected by the Covid-19 pandemic across the region. This may include support with the mental health impact such as stress, anxiety, depression, loneliness, financial worry or relationship issues.
The Resilience Hub, which is being run in partnership with mental health providers, has been developed following several months of detailed scoping work and aims to provide access to timely, confidential, culturally-competent and trauma-informed care. All mental health providers within Humber, Coast and Vale are key partners and have worked together to develop a partnership agreement to support the Resilience Hub.
Evidence from previous pandemics show that healthcare workers suffer from substantially poorer mental health if inadequately supported during/post the pandemic. More recently during the Covid-19 outbreak in the Hubei province of China, surveys of healthcare staff found prevalence rate for depression was 50.7%, anxiety disorders 44.7%, insomnia 33.6% and Post Traumatic Stress Disorder was 73.4 % (Wu et al., 2009).
The NHS is experiencing unprecedented strain, and there have been warnings about the damaging effects this has on health and care workers as well as the increasing pressure on social care, and especially residential care services (Centre for Mental Health 2020). Healthcare professionals are less likely to seek out psychological support or to access local mental health services. Resilience services need to incorporate a regional, visible outreach approach in order to build trust with those more likely to be psychologically affected on a clinical level.
The Resilience Hub can be accessed via www.hcvresiliencehub.nhs.uk with an integrated triage facility, which provides low level psychological interventions and can refer users to existing services for treatment and support. It links together the NHS, third sector, local authorities and emergency services to provide information, advice and resources to support immediate stress and trauma.
The aim is to ensure rapid access to treatment for staff, particularly from high-risk groups, via a single point of access. The Hub will help to reduce the stigma around seeking mental health support and ensure full confidentiality for users. Importantly people accessing the Hub will not automatically be given a mental health record which we know can be a barrier to accessing help.
The team has developed the Resilience Hub based on the successful approach undertaken in Greater Manchester and following a suggested framework from NHS England. The Hub includes questionnaires to help assess levels of trauma as well as general health, anxiety and depression. Once triaged the person can receive psychological interventions from the Resilience Hub staff or may be signposted to existing services and importantly provided with rapid access to treatment such as one-to-one or group therapy. The model supports staff members and also their families where they have been directly impacted.
During the development phase the Partnership has offered acute NHS Trusts and Care Homes across the region the opportunity to access a small psychology and counselling team who have supported gaps in existing health and wellbeing offers. The launch of the Hub means that dedicated resources provided by the partner organisations can now support our amazing frontline staff more effectively with their mental health and wellbeing needs over the coming months while the pressures of Covid-19 remain high.