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Mental Health Support for Staff and Residents

Everyone has experienced the challenges of the COVID19 pandemic in their own personal way, but a developing concern is for the impact on people’s mental health, and how it has affected some more than others. Good mental health is an asset, and inextricably linked to good physical health.

Well-documented past research suggests that mental health disorders can emerge following major disasters, including a viral outbreak, so it is now thought that the COVID19 pandemic could be having a significant impact on large parts of the population, including care home staff and residents. Staff have been under intense pressure on the frontline of caring for the most vulnerable age group, worrying about their own families as well as their residents, and the residents themselves have had the trauma of not being able to be with their own loved ones or to leave their care home.

As the pandemic took hold, Avery Healthcare quickly embedded Mental Health First Aid (MHFA) training into its organisation, supporting all of its staff, in both care or non-care roles. Its comprehensive training team includes qualified MHFA Instructors, and the course raises awareness about and reduces the stigma of mental health issues. Staff are encouraged to talk openly about their mental health, enabling earlier assistance and the timely introduction of coping mechanisms to assist recovery; it reduces the stigma attached to the topic and supports an open positive culture.

The mental health first aiders in all Avery homes provide a first point of contact for both staff and residents who are experiencing any emotional distress or a mental health problem. They have been trained to identify these and then support quickly, ranging from initial conversations through to signposting to other professionals if a person is in crisis.

Avery has extended its strong focus on person-centred resident care to include its own employees, as they all come to terms with the impact of a post-COVID life. It’s keeping everyone stronger, safer and supported in these difficult times.

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