Wellbeing/Self Care for VCSE staff

After discussions with several VCSE organisations it is clear the COVID pandemic seems to have ‘shed a light on’, brought to the fore some really complex and/or crisis issues for members of our community.  As a result staff and volunteers are supporting individuals and families with more complex issues than ever before.  The staff/volunteers that are on the ‘front line’ and managing these cases often only have their line managers to go to – who are doing a great job of supporting them.  However there is gap  – a need for additional support so that front line organisations, their staff and volunteers are supported to continue the great work they are undertaking. 

With this in mind I have gathered together some information with regard to self-care for staff when supporting people in crisis/with complex needs.

After discussion with Dan Pyrah, Wellbeing Service Manager, North East Lincolnshire Council and Vicky Ayres Clinical Lead – Adult Crisis Home Treatment Team and Single Point of Access 24/7 Telephone Support for Northern Lincolnshire I have put together the attached information and confirmed/arranged the following support.  This information/support is relevant to VCSE organisations working and based in North East Lincolnshire. 

If your organisation does not have access to Mental Health First Aiders Dan Pyrah and Adam Johnson have agreed to be Mental Health First Aiders for North East Lincolnshire’s VCSE sector.  It is the choice of each individual organisation/group if they wish to engage with this offer.  The role of a Mental Health First Aider is to be a point of contact for a member of staff who is experiencing a mental health issue or emotional distress. 

A number of fully funded places on the Mental Health First Aid course have also been offered.   This would be with a view to building capacity in the VCSE sector.  Therefore ideally any individual in the sector who takes up the offer of a free training place would agree to be a VCSE Sector Mental Health First Aider and have their contact email added to the Self Care Information attached and maintain the confidentially of those individuals they support.  The organisation they work for would also need to agree for them to undertake his role and confirm their agreement. 

I am now building a waiting list for this training – contact amy@nbforum.org.uk if you wish to be added to this list.

In addition SPA Option 3 have confirmed that front line VCSE workers are considered as key workers when accessing mental health support.  See attached the document called ‘Self Care when supporting people in crisis’ for further information of how to access this service and some posters that can be printed and displayed or shared.

We have been made aware of an increase in individuals presenting with suicidal thoughts.  If your organisation would like further information about Suicide Prevention services and Bereavement by Suicide, including NELC’s Pathways Document and a document outlining other useful information pleaseclaire@nbforum.org.uk

Any questions please get in touch.