Health and wellbeing support

Mental health support

Every Mind Matters has released expert advice and top tips on how to look after your mental wellbeing while you’re at home during the coronavirus outbreak. It also includes guidance if you’re feeling worried or anxious about the outbreak

Here for you – psychological support service

We know life is stressful right now, we are here for you.

In response to the pandemic, Essex Partnership University NHS Foundation Trust (EPUT) and Hertfordshire Partnership University NHS Foundation Trust (HPFT) offer a support service for staff working in healthcare, social care, the voluntary sector or not-for-profit sector.

If you’re having a tough time and need someone to talk to, you can call the helpline 24/7 to confidentially talk through any problems you’re facing, whatever they may be.

Here for you is run by experts in the mental health field. You can call the helpline in complete confidence to talk through your worries. Whether you need to:

  • talk to somebody
  • seek advice on where to find specific resources
  • receive counselling
  • attend a group session
  • organise a team debrief from a particular situation

We are here for you. Visit EPUT’s website for more information.

111 mental health crisis service

A new 24-hour phone service for people experiencing mental health crisis is now live across Essex.

If you, a family member or friend are in crisis and need help, please dial NHS 111 and select the option for mental health crisis. You will be connected to a contact centre where trained staff will provide appropriate support and advice 24 hours a day.

Mental health hotline for NHS staff

The NHS has launched a mental health hotline for staff dealing with Covid-19. You can call or text a free number to receive support and advice ranging from practical and financial assistance through to specialist bereavement and psychological support.

The phone line is open between 7am and 11pm every day, while the text service is 24/7.

  • Phone: 0300 131 7000
  • Text: simply text FRONTLINE to 85258

Visit the Our NHS People website for more information.

Mental Health Foundation resources

Working at home

It’s easy to lose motivation when working from home, particularly during challenging times. Trying out a few of these methods should help you to feel more productive and in control while away from the office:

Children and young people

We understand this is a difficult time for children and families. We have put together two guides full of resources to support children and young people:

Emerging Minds has some recommended resources for supporting children and young people with their worries and anxiety.

Coping with anxiety, fear and panic

Most people feel anxious or scared sometimes, but if it’s affecting your life there are things you can try that may help. Here are some guides and resources on coping with this anxiety, fear and panic:

Support is also available on the NHS website if you’re finding it hard to cope with anxiety, fear or panic.

Workplace wellbeing

Occupational Health

Make a referral

If you are a line manager you can refer a member of your team to Occupational Health.

Complete an Occupational Health Referral Form and submit it to the Occupational Health Department.

Submit a referral form

Send your referral form to the Occupational Health team.

By post:

Occupational Health Department
Basildon University Hospital
SS16 5NL

By email:

By fax: 01268 534127 (please dial whole number)

Questions or concerns

Call the Occupational Health team on 01268 524900 (ext 3591).

Employee Assistance Programme

It’s OK to ask for help. Whether you are full or part time, a manager or team member, you can benefit from this service.

The Employee Assistance Programme (EAP) is available 24 hours a day, 7 days a week, online or on the phone to provide the expert help, information and support you need.

The EAP will answer your questions or refer you to the most appropriate advisor, counsellor, or source of information. This includes legal, financial, consumer and personal – all in confidence.

Call 0800 111 6387 any time or visit the My EAP website (username: WESTWELL).

Are you a line manager and need help resolving issues within your team? If so, call the manager support helpline 0800 111 6385 (9am to 6pm, Monday to Friday).

Watch a video on Coping with isolation.

1:1 financial awareness and wellbeing sessions

Eulogie is a company providing professional, impartial financial awareness seminars free for NHS staff.

They are offering email and telephone call backs and can also provide live video meetings for individuals, or as a group, to answer any questions you may have. They cover all the topics in their: pre-retirement; mid-career and taxation; and complex needs seminars.

If you’re interested, please complete the Financial awareness and wellbeing seminar contact form. Indicate which topics you would like guidance on and a convenient time to be contacted.

Send your completed form to either Wendy Bickerstaffe or Neil Howchin or to your NHS contact who arranges the seminars.

Managing stress

Stress causes physical changes in the body designed to help you take on threats or difficulties.

You may notice that your heart pounds, your breathing quickens, your muscles tense, and you start to sweat. This is sometimes known as the fight or flight response.

Once the threat or difficulty passes, these physical effects usually fade. But if you’re constantly stressed, your body stays in a state of high alert and you may develop stress-related symptoms.

How you may feel emotionally

How you may feel mentally

  • racing thoughts
  • constant worrying
  • difficulty concentrating
  • difficulty making decisions

How you may feel physically

How you may behave

  • drinking or smoking more
  • snapping at people
  • avoiding things or people you are having problems with

Further information and guidance

BAME staff support

West Essex and Hertfordshire ICS Confidential Black, Asian or Minority Ethnic (BAME)  telephone support line for NHS staff

Call 0300 012 1101 (option 2) Available 7 days a week, 2pm-8pm

If you are from a Black, Asian or Minority Ethnic (BAME) background and would like to:

  • raise a concern or an issue
  • discuss something that you may not want to raise directly with your line manager
  • debrief anonymously from a situation or scenario
  • talk to a trained volunteer

All calls will be confidential and you can remain anonymous if you would prefer. Get the advice you need and help improve the support offered to other BAME colleagues. Calls charged at same landline rate as 01 and 02 numbers and included in call bundles and packages for these numbers.


This is a stressful time for all of us for varying reasons. You’re not going to have a great day every day and that’s OK. Practicing some mindfulness activities can help when you’re feeling down, and provide you with good tools to look after your mental health. Trying some of the short guided meditation videos may also help.


We’ve collected together the best free/low cost mobile apps for mental health and wellbeing, including Mindfulness, Relaxation, Anxiety, and Depression.