The Care Workers’ Charity launches a Mental Health Support Programme today, to support the UK’s social care workforce.
The COVID-19 pandemic has had a devastating impact on the mental health of the social care workforce. Care workers are said to be struggling with insomnia, anxiety, depression and PTSD as a direct result of their role and evidence from the Government Select Committee points to a great many more care workers facing ‘total burnout’.
The Mental Health Support Programme will provide up to ten sessions with a qualified therapist through Red Umbrella, an accredited mental health organisation. The cost of all these sessions will be paid for by The Care Workers’ Charity and will help care workers’ better cope with the challenges they are facing.
The Institute for Public Policy Research said it is crucial that those who are struggling are supported properly and said that in spite of the trauma they have, and continue to experience, many care workers are not eligible for bespoke therapy, and those that are, are unable to afford its cost. Without existing support structures in place, they are forced to cope alone.
The experiences of the care workers that the Care Workers’ Charity supports are at the heart of the charity and their grants making process gives applicants the space to voice worries and concerns- of which mental ill health is the most prevalent.
Comments from some of the care workers that the charity support:
'I experienced sleepless nights and panic attacks, worried if I was going to bring this terrible virus home to my family. The financial assistance from the charity has removed some of the stress involved by ensuring that I am able to pay my bills and concentrate on taking care of my family and the residents in my care at a time when carers are under pressure like never before and the world is a very scary and uncertain place.'
'I had got to the point, where I felt so utterly broken, that I regularly contemplated overdosing…I saw that as my only escape and a solution to my situation. I felt there was absolutely no point in going on. I felt worthless. I had lost all hope. I could not see my way forward.'
Karolina Gerlich, Executive Director of The Care Workers’ Charity said, ‘Everyday care workers go above and beyond to provide much needed support- this has been especially true during the pandemic, which has put their mental health under additional strain. Our Mental Health Support Programme aims to bridge the shortfall in mental health resources for those working in the social care sector; which we hope will not only improve individual wellbeing and resilience in the short term, but also go a long way towards increasing staff retention rates, reducing workforce shortages, as well as leaves of absence and sickness related to mental ill health. Risking their lives as they continue to care for the most vulnerable on the frontline of the pandemic, social care workers urgently need, and deserve, our support.’
Visit the Care Workers Charity website for more information about the Care Workers' Charity Mental Health Support Programme.
According to new figures on mental health, published by NHS Digital, more than 2.8m people were in contact with secondary mental health services in England in 2019-20.