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How to get support - our wellbeing offers

On this page, you’ll find details of the some of the wellbeing support we can offer, such as coaching, group support, and other ways to regulate the stress in your body or mind.

If you need more specialist support, we can arrange one-to-one sessions with experienced NHS therapists and clinicians, on a one-time or ongoing basis. You can contact the Hub by:

After you get in touch with the Hub, if you need more support, a clinician will talk with you in more detail to find out what you need help with and what might suit you best. They’ll then help you to access the right resources and services providing support.

Our Link Workers will be proactively reaching out to staff who are particularly likely to need support due to the nature of their work or their personal circumstances.

Wellbeing offers

We all know that whilst working in healthcare can be very rewarding, it can also be very stressful, especially during the COVID-19 pandemic. One important and powerful way to support ourselves is through practicing self-compassion.

This online course has been designed by Clinical Psychologist Dr Chris Irons. As Dr Irons knows that working in healthcare can be ‘full-on,’ it is an easy to access programme which helps you get the maximum benefits with a minimal amount of time commitment.

The programme consists of:

  • Four 30-minute videos, intended to be viewed once per week, which guide you through key ideas and practices of self-compassion. Each is accompanied by a short summary handout.
  • A variety of practices, each less than 10 minutes, designed to build self-compassion and reduce psychological distress.

The online course is currently being evaluated at University College London, and initial results show that people who complete the course have seen significant reductions in depression, anxiety, stress, shame, self-criticism, and feelings of insecurity in relationships.

For more information, please email hubstheword@cntw.nhs.uk

The regional Integrated Care System is very aware of the amazing work that many psychology staff are doing to support their frontline colleagues. As part of the NHS-E funding for staff support we would like to offer ‘the scaffolders’ a space to reflect. This will hopefully be a safe space to practice what we preach, look after ourselves and help to inform the hub of the kind of themes that may be emerging for staff bearing the burden of the impact of the pandemic in order to create support for them matching their evolving needs.

Balint Groups

In essence, Balint Groups are a way of reflecting upon Clinical work using a psychodynamic/psychoanalytic model and are conducted on the basis that participants ‘will bring along’ a clinical case e.g. a patient and/or recent, perhaps troubling, case/encounter. Notes are usually not used.  

The presenting member outlines the case and then ‘sits back’ and the remaining participants discuss the case/patient in a reflective and associative sort of way i.e. not discussing e.g. the progress and outcome but try instead to get under the surface as to ‘what is going on’ in the relationship between clinician and patient.   So, the tools are fantasy, countertransference, imagination, association etc.

Balint Groups usually last 60-90 minutes are often held say, fortnightly and over an extended period of time, e.g. in ‘Terms’ of ten sessions.


Taking Care-Giving Care (TCGC) Groups

Taking Care-Giving Care (TCGC)  groups are more structured and again last for 60—90 minutes and are concerned with Compassion – how we offer it to our patients and how we can offer it to our colleagues and crucially, to ourselves.   Such sessions are often delivered as either one-offs or over two to three sessions.   The structured exercises are only so many and repetition would set-in.

A Bespoke Model

These are not either-or options and sometime a more evolving reflective/supportive group can be devised and be adapted over time, i.e. Bespoke Model is devised to fit the needs of each particular team.

Read more: Staff wellbeing Hub Group Support - further information.

For more information, please email hubstheword@cntw.nhs.uk

Mindfulness is about paying more attention to the present moment – to your own thoughts and feelings, and to the world around you – and there is strong evidence that it can support good mental health and wellbeing. The TEWV Staff Mindfulness Service are offering a variety of mindfulness sessions and drop-ins for all health and care staff:

Taster sessions

The TEWV NHS Mindfulness Team is offering online mindfulness taster sessions to health and care staff. You can sign up for free, no prior experience required. These will include information on what mindfulness is, some mindfulness practice, and an exploration of ways that you could practice mindfulness to support your wellbeing.

Upcoming taster sessions:

  • Wednesday 4th August 9.30 – 11.30am
  • Wednesday 8th September 10am – 12noon
  • Tuesday 27th July 6 - 8pm
  • Thursday 9th September 6 - 8pm

To book a place on a taster session, please email tewv.mindfulness@nhs.net or call 01325 552017.

8 Week courses

Our 8-week courses course combine training in mindfulness with elements of cognitive therapy. They take place online (via MS Teams) and happen several times a year. The weekly sessions are two and a quarter hours long. Our next lot of courses start in October 2021, so get in touch soon if you are interested:

Mondays 11am - 1.15pm October 4th – Dec 6th
Tuesdays 10am - 12.15pm October 5th – Dec 7th
Tuesdays 6pm - 8.15pm October 5th – Nov 30th
Thursdays 10am - 12.15pm October 7th – Nov 31st

To book a place, please contact the TEWV mindfulness team: by email – tewv.mindfulness@nhs.net or by phone – 01325 552107 If you’d like more detail about various mindfulness offerings from the TEWV team, read here.

Readhead Associates work with the Staff Wellbeing Hub to provide bespoke one to one coaching and mentoring to individual staff members via phone, teams or zoom, usually over 2 to 3 sessions, spaced 3 months apart.

The main focus of this coaching is career development and retirement planning with an emphasis on developing skills and goal planning for the short, medium and long term.

For more info, please email hubstheword@cntw.nhs.uk

Music therapy

Do you:

  • Often feel low in mood or anxious?
  • Have set patterns of thinking or feeling that are difficult to change?
  • Find it difficult to communicate your thoughts or feelings?
  • Have low confidence or self-esteem?
  • Feel negatively about yourself or as if you have lost your identity?

Music therapy can help. You don’t need to have experience or training in music. You will be supported to engage at a level you are comfortable with. Work focuses on your strengths and skills, and how these can be used in recovery.

Please email: hubstheword@cntw.nhs.uk for more info.

Download the Music Therapy flyer here: SWH Music Therapy flyer


GemArts: Cultural threads

Cultural threads is an arts, health and wellbeing programme by GemArts who work with professional artists across diverse art forms to help you to:

  • Develop new creative skills and interests
  • Have fun and connect with others
  • Access networks and support to improve mindfulness, health and wellbeing

Each arts activity takes place over 7 weekly sessions, delivered via Zoom in a relaxing, supportive and friendly atmosphere.

It's free to join (15 places per activity). All arts materials to take part will be provided, and no prior arts experience required.

Upcoming sessions:

Chinese Watercolour Painting with artist Dr Chun-Chao Chiu

Starting Tuesday 5th October 7pm-8.30pm

The sessions include an introduction to paints, tools and materials.  You will develop creative skills in Chinese brush painting, and learn how to paint landscapes, flowers, animals and Chinese Calligraphy.

Visual Arts from Around the World with artist Jayamini de Silva

Starting 7th October 1pm-2.30pm

Take a creative trip across the world and develop new skills in:

  • Dot Mandala Painting
  • Origami
  • Aboriginal Art
  • Chinese Calligraphy
  • Henna Painting and more..!

To join please contact the Staff Wellbeing Hub by Wed 22nd September:hubstheword@cntw.nhs.uk

Download the GemArts flyer here: SWH GemArts flyer_Oct dates


Notes from the Frontline 

This free online event was a collaboration between NHS staff and professional composers and musicians brought together by the Connection Through Music volunteers. Experience the power of musical creativity as an act of collective resistance against the challenges of the pandemic. Watch the video here.

The COVID-19 pandemic continues to be a source of psychological and physical adversity for many people, with emerging evidence of a significant psychological impact on wellbeing – in some cases, a traumatic experience, leading to loss and/or psychological trauma responses such as PTSD.

This 2-day refresher workshop is for therapists who work with adults within a CBT approach to treating PTSD, aiming to:

  • Help you build your confidence in the treatment of PTSD and trauma
  • Provide a reflective space to think about how you might offer treatments to people arriving into our services with COVID-related trauma and loss.
  • Enable you to reflect on how you might incorporate the trauma and adversity of the pandemic into formulations and treatment plans.

For more info, please email hubstheword@cntw.nhs.uk

The North East and North Cumbria ICS were given funding in 2020 by the local Health Education England team to provide some online training for healthcare staff during the COVID-19 pandemic both to support their service delivery and also support their wellbeing. This consisted of a series of experiential learning webinars that were recorded for use as an ongoing online resource.

Because the pandemic has had a multifaceted impact on people and communities, the webinars covered a range of topics that were informed by the evidence about managing and healing from adversity. They covered aspects of relational support, leadership, service design, specific interventions and tools, safety (both physical and social), unintended consequences and issues of empowerment and social cohesion (see Kennedy, 2019 model).

Recordings of these webinars, supporting documents and further information can be found on the Recovery College Online website.

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