Mental health and wellbeing during COVID-19

man looks out of the window during lockdown

The NHS response to COVID-19 will involve important and difficult work over a potentially prolonged period of time. Everyone will manage this in different ways, but there are times when we may feel anxious, stressed, overwhelmed, angry, numb; all of these are normal reactions. Working as a team, sharing experiences with others and team leaders, and ‘doing our bit’ also involves staying mentally well, which will be as important as the physical graft needed.

To help you stay well in these unprecedented times, we have collated a number of resources, tips and guidance below, and encourage you to share widely with colleagues, friends and family members who may find them useful.

Birmingham Health Partners logoIt’s important to recognise that it is ‘ok not to be ok’, and we’ve provided links to additional support if needed. COVID-19 is a rapidly changing situation and this web site will be updated regularly; but please contact enquiries@birminghamhealthpartners.co.uk with any queries you may have.

These pages are an initiative by Birmingham Health Partners, which is an alliance between the University of Birmingham and two co-located NHS Foundation Trusts: University Hospitals Birmingham, and Birmingham Women’s and Children’s. In particular, we thank the University’s Institute for Mental Health for their contributions.

man running in woods

Now, more than ever, is a time to take steps to protect your mental health and wellbeing, and that of your colleagues. The following provides some guidance and further resources on managing your wellbeing during this time.

For local NHS staff
For support, NHS staff members can call 0300 131 7000 between 7am and 11pm every day, or text FRONTLINE to 85258
All NHS staff can call 0300 131 7000 for wellbeing support, every day between 7am and 11pm – or text FRONTLINE to 85258. UHB staff can access dedicated support at the UHB wellbeing site, and if you are a BWC team member, log on to the BWC intranet to access support.

healthcare team working during covid-19

First and foremost we want you to be safe, feel safe and adequately supported, and we commend you on your ability to step up and take on the challenge. It is vital for you to prioritise your personal wellbeing; compassion must start with yourself.

working from home with children

From working from home to furlough, and from home-schooling children to supporting family and the community from a distance, the pandemic has had a profound effect on everyone’s daily life. This section contains tips and information for University staff on adapting to the ‘new normal’, staying physically healthy, and staying mentally well. 

healthcare team working during covid-19

As a clinical lead or general manager within a healthcare setting you play an important role in supporting those under your charge to effectively manage their professional responsibilities alongside their personal commitments, including their physical health and mental wellbeing. At the same time is it vital to recognise that you yourself must strike this balance in order to be effective in your support role.

family walking in woods
The world will have changed a lot for school-age children: a change in routine, exams having been cancelled, and fun end of year events deferred.  We’ve collated useful advice here and it’s worth remembering the importance of trying to maintain some structure to the day, supporting children in their social relationships on-line, and to discuss young people’s worries and concerns about the pandemic.

If you have had COVID-19, or are a researcher looking for patient perspectives, a new Facebook group has been established to discuss all aspects of research, for engagement, involvement and participation purposes. It can be found at Covid Research Involvement Group UK – please note it is not affiliated with our BHP members

With thanks to our colleagues in institutions across birmingham health partners including:

Institute for Mental Health logoUniversity Hospitals Birmingham NHS Foundation Trust logo

BWC logo