Accessing help when and where you need it

As you know, I’m part of the #MSEBuddyNetwork where I work.  A growing group of staff who offer support to others by way of listening and signposting people to other organisations or people for help and support.

This week on our usual Tuesday lunchtime catch up, we were joined by members of the second cohort of buddies, which was great.  It not only shows that there is a need for this type of thing, but also that there are staff willing to act as Buddies and offer that support to their colleagues.  Our Tuesday sessions are an opportunity for us as Buddies to get together and debrief, or share any concerns that we have.  Its been really interesting to hear what some of the other Buddies are experiencing, and we are extremely careful not to go into any detail about particular conversations, to ensure privacy.  It gives us the chance to help other Buddies out, to Buddy the Buddy, and to think about how we might respond if were found ourselves in a similar conversation.

Every so often someone external to the Buddy Network comes along to give a talk on a useful topic, or to share information about a group or organisation that might be able to offer extra guidance, or support to those in need.  This week we learned about the “Here for You” initiative, a joint venture between Essex and Herts providers to support NHS staff mental health and wellbeing and offer in-reach and out-reach support, and can fast track to primary and secondary care where appropriate.  Their model ranges from supporting compassionate leadership and management through increasing intensity to psychological support services.

One of the Buddy Network organisers shared an app that they had been made aware of during their Mental Health First Aid training called “Hub of Hope”.  An app you can download on to your phone, and when you put in a location or postcode, it comes up with all sorts of organisations and places you can go to get further support for mental health concerns from its database of the UK’s leading mental health support organisations. It brings together local, national, peer, community, charity, private and NHS services in one place.

Whether we are dealing with colleagues at work, friends or family members, it is important to be able to access information, support and help when and where you need it.  I would certainly recommend downloading the app, if not for you, then for someone you know.


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