Staff In Mind: Mental Health Support

Sussex Partnership NHS Foundation Trust

Encouraging health and social care workers to engage with mental health support by understanding barriers to engagement and how to overcome these.

Staff that work in health and care are often subject to high pressure and stress that can have a significant impact on their mental health. We worked with SPFT during the development of their staff resilience hub to ensure the hub was attractive and appropriate for staff, and that staff were sufficiently motivated to engage the mental health and wellbeing support on offer.

To understand what was stopping staff from accessing support, we conducted primary research to understand their experiences and gather their thoughts on the proposed support available through the hub. We then used this insight to create a campaign with key messages focussing on overcoming barriers to access. We also supported SPFT with the development of their wider engagement strategy, creating a campaign toolkit to enable their team and partner organisations to promote the hub on an ongoing basis.

The hub and campaign launched in January 2021 and were an overwhelming success. In the first two weeks of operation, nearly four times the target referral number was achieved, and since then over 4,000 staff across 13 organisations have completed a self-assessment, resulting 3,000+ referrals across a range of support. The service is now seen as an exemplar NHS Resilience Hub model in England. Since then, we have worked several times with SPFT to encourage uptake amongst specific staff groups, including ethnic minority, disabled, and male staff.