PUBLIC sector workers across Lancashire and South Cumbria are being urged to seek support as part of Mental Health Awareness Week.

Following a recent study that revealed a fifth of NHS workers were suffering with mental health issues since the pandemic, public sector workers are being encouraged not to suffer alone and get the support they need.

The Resilience Hub launched at the beginning of the pandemic to support public sector workers and their immediate families with the psychological impact of Covid-19.

It has been built on pioneering clinical and research development in Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD) carried out by clinicians from Lancashire and South Cumbria NHS Foundation Trust.

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The Mail: Elaine Brown Elaine Brown

Now the team is urging those working in the emergency services, health and social care, teachers, council workers, public sector volunteers and their families to get in touch and gain much-needed support.

Gita Bhutani, Director for Psychological Professions and lead for the Resilience Hub, said: “There’s absolutely no doubt that the pandemic has had an impact on us all but it’s frightening to see that a fifth of NHS staff alone are suffering with mental health issues. Our research highlights the importance of reaching out to all our public sector workers and making sure they can access the help and support they need.

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“The Resilience Hub can offer support to all public sector workers including those in care homes in Lancashire and South Cumbria who are struggling to deal with depression, anxiety, post-traumatic stress, especially in the aftermath of the pandemic.”

Since the Resilience Hub was launched it has helped over 2000 people including NHS staff.

Elaine Bowdon, Community Psychiatric Nurse at Lancashire and South Cumbria NHS Foundation Trust, accessed support from the Resilience Hub following her struggles with flashbacks resulting from her personal journey with Covid.

The Mail: Gita Bhutani, Director for Psychological Professions at Lancashire and South Cumbria NHS Foundation TrustGita Bhutani, Director for Psychological Professions at Lancashire and South Cumbria NHS Foundation Trust

She said: “I contracted Covid in December 2020 and sadly was severely affected and needed to be taken to hospital by ambulance. I was poorly for a long time afterwards.

"This significantly compounded my anxiety and levels of distress. So in addition to my physical health problems, which were the priority of the hospital medical team, I was also experiencing significant mental health issues during my hospital stay."

“While I have now recovered from Covid and returned to clinical work, I still experience issues with anxiety and flashbacks as we are still dealing with Covid and learning how to live with it.

“A good friend and colleague helped me realised that I needed support to process the ordeal that I had been through.

"I self-referred to the Resilience Hub and within two days I had a referral with a psychologist, Mr David Keane and have been accessing support ever since.”