Key workers in Bedfordshire, Luton and Milton Keynes are being encouraged to access free mental health and wellbeing support through the Keeping Well Service.
Keeping Well is a free wellbeing and psychological support service run by care professionals for key workers – which includes NHS, local authority workers, social care and public health staff, carers, teachers, people working in the emergency services.
The service supports people with a range of emotional difficulties. These might be new mental health difficulties or a worsening of pre-existing difficulties.
The service, which has been designed in partnership between Bedfordshire, Luton and Milton Keynes Integrated Care System (BLMK ICS) and Central and North West London NHS Foundation Trust (CNWL), is confidential and provides a safe space to speak about struggles and wellbeing needs with a trained professional. Practitioners can support with common mental health conditions and signpost to additional organisations, services and resources.
The Keeping Well team has recently expanded to better meet the needs of key workers in the BLMK area, enabling them to support key workers in more ways. The expanded team now includes two counsellors, a mental health occupational therapist, a substance misuse practitioner, and four assistant psychologists.
Dr Rita Initli, Consultant Clinical Psychologist, Clinical Lead for Keeping Well BLMK, said:
“The need for supporting key workers is what motivated me to join Keeping Well BLMK. Support is crucial to guard against burnout and to enable staff to continue to do their jobs. I want to help and support more of my colleagues because I know how tough the work can be and Keeping Well BLMK is here to provide that support.”
A key worker who recently accessed the service said:
“I was struggling with anxiety, low mood and overthinking, and wanted to speak to a talking therapist. Through my employer I heard about Keeping Well. On the online platform I spoke to one of the Assistant Psychologists who listened attentively to my issues. He followed this up with some additional services that could help and further checked in with me two weeks later. He made me feel comfortable and motivated. Keeping Well was extremely helpful and I am very pleased with the service I received.”
Keeping Well accepts referrals from any key worker. All support is free and confidential using evidence-based treatments and delivered by trained professionals. Visit our website www.keepingwellblmk.nhs.uk to live chat 9am to 5pm, to self-refer or request a call back, or call 01908 724227.