Often, we only take care of ourselves when there is physical injury, illness or pain and neglect looking after our mental health. Making time for yourself and ‘self care’ is important to keep us healthy. At HUC, we care about the health and wellbeing of our colleagues – after all, we work in a busy NHS environment with its own challenges and personal resilience is key. That is why, just in time for Mental Health Awareness Week (May 10-16) with a focus on nature, we are calling our colleagues to get their daily steps in by joining our Get Out And About Walking Challenge. After the success of our December Step Challenge with over 20m steps walked by our amazing teams, we’re sure that with warmer temperatures and lighter evenings the competition will be even fiercer!

Mental Health is important to us

For our patients
All our NHS 111 services now offer a mental health option. In Cambridgeshire & Peterborough, NHS 111 option 2 for mental health has already been in place for a number of years. Last year, we launched a similar service in Hertfordshire & West Essex and Luton & Bedfordshire. You can now contact NHS 111 and by pressing option 2 will be diverted to a local mental health provider.

For our colleagues
Working as an NHS 111 call handler or in our other services can be challenging, especially as we are sometimes managing some very poorly patients. That is why we have trained incident debriefers who can offer immediate support after a challenging, upsetting or stressful work-related situation. While they are situated in our NHS 111 contact centres, they can be contacted by any other members of staff as well, including Out of Hours, Primary Care or back office support colleagues.

Our Employee Assistance Scheme is provided by Care first, an independent, leading provider of professional employee support services, for colleagues who would like independent advice. Their team of counsellors and information specialists can help with all kinds of practical and emotional issues such as wellbeing, family matters, relationships, workplace issues and much more.

It is free of charge for all colleagues to use. Care first is available 24 hours a day, 7 days a week, 365 days a year and is accessible by phone or online. There is also an app and regular themed webinars.