Guest blog contributed by the Care Workers’ Charity
The Care Workers’ Charity has launched a pivotal Mental Health Support Programme in response to the crisis of mental ill-health faced by the UK’s social care workforce.
The Covid-19 pandemic has had a devastating impact on the already fragile mental health of our social care workforce. Care workers are struggling with insomnia, anxiety, depression and PTSD as a direct result of their role (1)(2)(3), and evidence from the Government Select Committee points to a great many more careworkers facing ‘total burnout’ (4)
The experiences of the care workers we support are at the heart of our Charity, and our grants making process gives applicants the space to voice worries and concerns- of which mental ill health is the most prevalent. A small sample of these are below;
“I experienced sleepless nights and panic attacks, worried if I was going to bring this terrible virus home to my family. The financial assistance from the charity has removed some of the stress involved by ensuring that I am able to pay my bills and concentrate on taking care of my family and the residents in my care at a time when carers are under pressure like never before and the world is a very scary and uncertain place”.
“I had got to the point, where I felt so utterly broken, that I regularly contemplated overdosing…I saw that as my only escape and a solution to my situation. I felt there was absolutely no point in going on. I felt worthless. I had lost all hope. I could not see my way forward.”
It is crucial that those who are struggling are supported properly. Yet In spite of the trauma they have, and continue to experience, many care workers are not eligible for bespoke therapy, and those that are, are unable to afford its cost. Without existing support structures in place, they are forced to cope alone (5).
To ensure that no care worker is left without support, The Care Workers’ Charity has launched our Mental Health Support Programme. The Programme will provide up to 10 sessions with a qualified therapist through Red Umbrella, an accredited mental health organisation. The cost of all these sessions will be paid for by The Care Workers’ Charity, and will help care workers’ better cope with the challenges they are facing.
Karolina Gerlich, Executive Director of The Care Workers’ Charity says:
“Everyday care workers go above and beyond to provide much needed support- this has been especially true during the pandemic, which has put their mental health under additional strain.
Our Mental Health Support Programme aims to bridge the shortfall in mental health resources for those working in the social care sector; which we hope will not only improve individual wellbeing and resilience in the short term, but also go a long way towards increasing staff retention rates, reducing workforce shortages, as well as leaves of absence and sickness related to mental ill health.”
Risking their lives as they continue to care for the most vulnerable on the frontline of the pandemic, social care workers urgently need, and deserve, our support.
This Programme is only possible because of the funding we receive- if you would like to help us to support care workers in crisis, please consider donating to our Appeal below;
For further information please contact Catherine at The Care Workers’ Charity at [email protected]
(1) Amnesty International. July 2020. Failures to Protect Health and Essential Workers During the Covid-19 Pandemic.
(2) Sanders, R. May 2020. ESSS Outline. Covid-19: Stress, Anxiety, and Social Care Worker’s Mental Health. Smith, P.
(3) ITV News. April 2020. Mental Health ‘Damaged’ in Majority of Scottish Coronavirus Carers.
(5) Institute for Public Policy Research (IPPR). Thomas, C and Quilter-Pinner, H. April 2020. Care Fit for Carers.