NHS staff are being offered free therapy

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NHS staff are being offered free therapy through several initiatives designed to help key workers cope during the pandemicNHS Rainbow Professional Quality Flag – MrFlag

Through the coronavirus crisis, NHS staff are working incredibly hard to attend to patients’ physical and mental health. But what happens to their own health?

Alongside efforts being made to get frontline workers the personal protective equipment (PPE) they need, a number of new initiatives have stepped in to support the mental health of NHS staff.

Therapist-matching website Welldoing.org has listed any counsellors and psychotherapists registered on its site that are offering free services for frontline NHS workers. So far, some 250 therapists have signed up.

Elsewhere, Duty to Care is a new initiative supporting NHS staff by offering free mental health and wellbeing facilities. Founded last month by Harriet Hunt, a communications executive, with the help of Sadie Reid, founder of wellbeing magazine Hip and Healthy, Duty to Care provides access to a directory of vetted practitioners offering services to frontline healthcare workers.

Sessions are free for the NHS staff accessing them, and a £40-per-session fee for the therapist is covered by donations made to Duty to Care’s Just Giving page.

So far Duty to Care has been accessed by 280 NHS workers in various healthcare roles across the UK. Initial feedback has been positive, Hunt said: “Many have told us they’re applying the coping mechanisms they’ve been taught to help them manage anxiety at work and home.”

As for the practitioners, there are currently 30 delivering services via the platform, including CBT therapists, psychotherapists, mindfulness teachers, meditation experts, breath-work experts, nutritional therapists, personal trainers and yoga teachers. A further 500 practitioners have applied to do likewise.

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