Joanne Kerr, activities coordinator at Appleby Care Home (managed by HCMS) with the Staff Mental Health and Wellbeing handbook.

Supporting the Mental Health of Care Staff

As an organisation, Healthcare Management Solutions is committed to supporting the mental health of its care home staff 24/7. Mental Health Awareness Week is an opportunity to remind staff of the support and assistance available and to encourage conversation around mental health.

This year, Mental Health Awareness Week coincides with the launch of a Staff Mental Health and Wellbeing handbook. Produced internally, the handbook tackles key themes that have become more prominent during the Covid-19 pandemic as well as more general self-care. The aim of the publication is to support staff in maintaining mental and physical health at work but also during their leisure time.

Throughout the past 12 months, the company has worked closely with regional teams to support its key worker staff with the pressures of the pandemic. Healthcare Management Solutions understands the challenges facing care staff and the impact they can have on mood, sleep and anxiety.

A Mental Health Resource for All Employees

The Staff Mental Health and Wellbeing handbook is available to all employees and provides a thorough guide to maintaining your own wellbeing. It also explores how managers can instil a culture of compassion and openness to support their own staff.

The 32-page publication also features a “Going home checklist”. This encourages staff to check in with their colleagues before leaving work, reflect on the day, then switch their mind to relaxing, resting and focussing on home life.

Lynn Fearn, managing director of Healthcare Management Solutions said: “Given the challenges care workers have faced in the last 12 months, it is more important than ever that our staff are aware that as a caring, compassionate employer we have a positive approach to mental health awareness.

“We are committed to fostering a culture where staff feel like they can talk openly about any problems they may have and developing a working environment where managers are equipped to support those staff.

Continued Support

In addition to the launch of the handbook,  a Mental Health and Wellbeing awareness board will form a focal point in all of the homes managed by the company. These will showcase the wealth of support, advice and resources available to all staff all year round.

Daily support for care home staff includes the Healthcare Management Solutions Employee Assistance Programme. All employees have access to this confidential telephone service. Staffed by experienced and professional counsellors, the service can help with a wide range of personal and work-related problems at any time of day or night.

Lynn added: “We believe the workplace should be part of our employees’ positive mental wellbeing and we want to support our staff to remain physically and mentally well.  Promoting a positive work-life balance will we believe help us to achieve that aim for us all.”

The care homes managed by Healthcare Management Solutions have a wide variety of events planned to mark the awareness week. These include drop-in sessions for staff, doughnut deliveries, and dressing in green – the official colour of mental health awareness.

Mental Health Awareness Week runs from 10th to 16th May 2021.

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