Our NHS People

Additional training and support

Now that we have an understanding about the things that can help us feel more resilient, and the areas that can impact our resilience, we’re going to explore ways facilitators of Health and Wellbeing Conversations can support others to think about these things too.

The following guides are designed to help you navigate Health and Wellbeing Conversations and to feel confident offering support to others. Listening with empathy is an important skill, whether someone appears to be struggling or not. When someone might be struggling, it’s even more important:

Guides to support

1. A Samaritan’s guide to helpful conversations offers valuable insights from the Samaritans when supporting others. It includes helpful ways to think about:

– Recognising when someone is struggling

– Compassionate listening skills: listening with empathy

– Things to do and say when supporting someone

– Remembering self-care when supporting others

2. This short guide for leaders on Having conversations about painful subjects might also provide some useful thinking when supporting others who are struggling

It’s often challenging when supporting others to make a judgement about when to suggest further psychological support. It’s not for facilitators to try to diagnose participants, but it may be helpful to be aware of the things that may indicate someone is experiencing something that is more than a ‘normal’ reaction to stressful events.

Additional free training and resources available

1. REACT Mental Health Conversation training is designed to equip those with caring responsibilities for NHS people to confidently hold supportive and compassionate mental health and wellbeing conversations, during and beyond Covid-19

2. Free online psychological first aid training from Public Health England (PHE) available to frontline staff and volunteers

3. Zero Suicide Alliance offers free online training which provides an understanding of the signs to look out for and the skills required to approach someone who is struggling, whether that be through social isolation or suicidal thoughts

4. Support the workers collective is an international group of experts in disaster response, high pressure decision-making and health under conditions of extreme stress. They have produced a series of evidence-based, 1-page briefing notes on issues that are likely to be relevant during very difficult times

Within your own organisation

It’s also important to connect within your organisation and ensure you are receiving support while making yourself available for others. Each organisation will have their own versions of support available locally. This might include:

  • Onsite mental health services
  • An Employee Assistance Programme
  • Local coaching training and support services