Staff Psychological Support Helpline - FAQ's
The WHSCT Staff Psychological Support Helpline was set up to assist staff during the onset of the Covid-19 pandemic. Each Trust has a dedicated Helpline Support Service open to Trust Staff, NI Ambulance Service, local GP practices and Independent Sector staff.
The WHSCT Helpline has been actively supporting staff throughout the various phases of the recent Covid-19 pandemic. This has been reflected in the calls received by the helpline. In the initial phases calls were received from those apprehensive about being faced with Covid-19. As changes occurred we assisted staff managing redeployment and changes to their normal ways of working. In recent weeks some calls have assisted those returning to work after shielding or staff managing the challenges of restarting and rebuilding services.
The Helpline and associated staff support initiatives have now had contact with approximately 200 staff. It aims to provide support for those seeking assistance with their psychological well-being. The Helpline is manned by psychotherapeutically trained staff and, on average, calls have been attended to within an hour of making contact with the service.
As part of the Psychological Support Team work, hour-long support sessions have been arranged for teams and services on request. The focus of these has been to provide a reflective space for staff to talk about their experiences over the past few months and to consider what might be useful for them to think about or do to support both themselves and their colleagues.
FAQ’s: Over the past number of weeks we have been asked a variety of questions about using the helpline:
Q: “I’m worried about contacting the helpline – is it confidential?”
A: Yes the helpline is completely confidential. It has been set up specifically to assist staff managing their psychological and emotional well-being during this difficult time. While set up and run through the Trust it is independent and no information from calls is accessible to employers or third parties.
Q: “Can we be seen as a group or can my staff access as a group?”
A: While many individuals are contacting the service, we have also had some requests for staff/team support. Such services are on offer and can be requested. Requests can be made via the helpline number or by emailing COVIDPsychological.Support@westerntrust.hscni.net
Q: “What would I gain from this service?”
A: As we evaluate the usefulness of the service we have had feedback from users; examples of feedback are below.
“They were very understanding”
“I was under immense pressure from the sudden changes we had to go through. The support was very helpful”.
“I found the service great. It’s a difficult decision to make contact but I’m glad I did”.
“I’ve used the service twice, on both occasions the helpline staff were very supportive”.
“I wanted to thank you for providing this service for staff, it is invaluable to know it is available when needed during these times”.
Anyone can contact the Staff Psychological Support Line by:
Telephone: 028 7161 6112 (option 3).
The Support Line will continue to run 9am-5pm Mon – Fri
If you are experiencing psychological or emotional challenges during this time please let us care for you, as you care for others.