WITH key workers across the country continuing to work around the clock to save lives of those affected by COVID-19, West Midlands charity Living Well UK has rolled out a new initiative to ensure that their mental health needs are supported at this crucial time. The charity has launched a free call-line, offering access to trained counsellors and talking therapists and, in more severe cases, immediate mental health triage support exclusively for those on the frontline.
Creating a safe and fully-supported space for key workers to turn to in times of need, Living Well UK has partnered with the Birmingham and Solihull Clinical Commissioning Group (CCG) to open the dedicated phone line that will provide support for those who feel that their mental health is suffering from the on-going effects of Coronavirus.
Speaking about the new initiative, Living Well UK CEO, Ben Howells, commented:
“There is no more pressing time than now for this initiative to launch; with thousands of people continuing to head to work to keep our vital services running, the pressure of working in a key-worker role currently is not to be underestimated. That’s why we’ve partnered with Birmingham and Solihull CCG to get this dedicated call-line active as soon as possible.
“From NHS nurses and doctors to those keeping our supermarket shelves stocked, we know that long hours and increased demand will be taking its toll. It’s absolutely crucial now, more than ever, that support structures like this are in place as and when they need them. These people are going out day-after-day to help save millions of lives; it’s our turn to look after them.”
The key worker line, which is free to call, is accessible to anyone who is living in Birmingham and classed as one of the front-line staff in the fight against the COVID-19. Whether they are dealing with anxiety and worry related to the virus; experiencing burn-out from the demands; or anything in between, the phone-line provides workers with a safe space to talk, as well as giving instant access to immediate counselling if they need additional support.
The dedicated phone line is part of a wider suite of support that Living Well UK is bringing to the region in response to the Coronavirus pandemic. Alongside the key-worker line, the charity is also launching another phone-number in partnership with Birmingham Mind. This one will be available to the general public, giving instant access for callers to talk through their worries, concerns, or crises with a trained psychologist. Counselling will also be available to callers too and will become available within a 24-hour window, should a member of the Mind team feel that more help is needed.
What’s more, in line with Living Well UK’s specialist support for those with long-term conditions, including diabetes, cardiovascular disease and chronic pain, those working the call-line will be trained to recommend specialist therapies adapted for such disorders.
“At a time where many people are concerned by the effects that COVID-19 is having on our lives, those diagnosed with long-term conditions will almost certainly be finding themselves experiencing additional worries.
“By opening the crisis line and providing professional support, we’re hoping that we can help to aid some of these concerns, helping those who are even more at risk of the effects of COVID-19 to feel supported mentally. Whether it’s sharing key tips on improving their wellbeing during isolation, giving them specialist therapies tailored to pre-existing conditions, or simply giving them space to discuss their worries in a safe environment, we hope this will provide vital support for those in need.”
To seek advice, support or counselling, call Living Well UK’s dedicated lines now. For the key-worker support line, call 0121 633 1217 and for general support call 0121 262 3555. For more information on Living Well UK and its services, visit https://livingwellconsortium.com/