The Samaritans is extending its helpline for frontline health and care workers in England to provide support during the pandemic.
The charity’s helplines have supported thousands of NHS and social care workers since the start of the COVID crisis last year, and now the Department of Health and Social Care has agreed to extend funding for a dedicated line until at least September 2021.
The news comes amid rising demand for support for stress and anxiety.
According to a recent survey, three quarters of care workers in England have experienced worsened mental health as a result of their work during the pandemic.
GMB, the care workers’ union, has warned of a looming “care workers’ crisis” as its survey of more than 1,200 frontline professionals found their mental health declined throughout the second wave, with respondents reporting it being poorer in December and January than in September and October.
The confidential support line is open 7am to 11pm, seven days a week, and is run by dedicated and trained Samaritan volunteers who are self-isolating following government guidance.
Care workers in England can call free on 0800 069 6222.
There is also a helpline for health and care staff in Wales. Click here for details.
For registered managers who need support during the pandemic, click here.