Dr Alex George appeared on Lorraine Kelly’s ITV show this morning to talk about the importance of mental health staff support in the NHS, and to discuss how Lewisham and Greenwich NHS Trust (LGT) has recently trained 30 colleagues as mental health first aiders.
Dr Alex told us: “NHS staff have been through a lot this year with everyone pulling together to provide great care and keep patients safe. This isn’t just about doctors and nurses; we need to recognise the great work of pharmacists, support workers, allied health professionals and also everyone working behind the scenes.
“We also need to recognise that we are not machines; when things are tough, it can take a toll. We’re here to support each other, and let each other know that it’s ok to not be ok. I’m really pleased that staff support is a priority in LGT, and it was great to talk to Namrita from our pharmacy team, who is one of our mental health first aiders, on the Lorraine show.”
Namrita Sen Green, LGT’s Principal Pharmacist for Medication Safety and Governance, said: “It’s so important that we check that our colleagues are ok and recognise signs of stress. The mental health first aiders have received training to help us to do this and on how to support our colleagues to access the resources that may be helpful to them.”
The introduction of mental health first aiders is LGT’s most recent staff support initiative. Over recent months, the Trust’s chaplaincy and psychologists have been supporting teams with debriefs, reflection sessions and training sessions. The Trust has also trained 150 staff wellbeing champions who were nominated by colleagues – with 30 of them recently receiving the additional training to become mental health first aiders.