Connect2Care, the leading provider of training and apprenticeships in the healthcare, adult care and early years sectors, is prioritising mental health by offering free training nationwide. Two staff members from any sector business or supplier will be able to access the Level 1 Awareness of First Aid for Mental Health Training Course, free of charge. This initiative has been launched in response to growing concerns around mental health throughout the COVID-19 pandemic.
This announcement follows warnings from the Government of a “hidden mental health crisis” in the UK, with twice as many people experiencing a diagnosable mental health condition since the start of the pandemic.
This is especially pertinent in the health and social care sectors where workers’ roles and daily lives have been significantly impacted by recent events. A recent report from the Care Quality Commission stated that the impact of COVID-19 on care staff has resulted in some registered managers of adult social care services ‘suffering from burn out and extreme anxiety’, as well as inspection teams dealing with an ‘increase in care home managers suffering from distress due to multiple deaths and financial worries’.
As part of its commitment to improving mental health provision and education in the UK, Connect2Care has developed a dedicated mental health strategy and action plan to support its staff. A mental health microsite has been created on its intranet to provide support and resources for all colleagues. Furthermore, many of its key staff are now trained in Mental Health First Aid and all 500 staff are encouraged to complete the Level 1 Awareness of First Aid for Mental Health Training Course.
Lindsey Appleby-Flynn, Adult Health and Social Care Lead is heading up the Connect2Care mental health programme. An expert in the field of mental health, she sits on the Executive Committee of the Care Apprenticeship Board and has completed extensive work with individuals experiencing psychosis, schizophrenia, bi-polar and personality disorders, as well as managing a community support team for those enduring mental health issues.
“We know that now more than ever, the mental strain placed on many professionals across the country is substantial and we want to help support people to manage their stress and mental health concerns. We want to break down as many barriers as possible and ensure training is accessible for those who need it most.”
“At Connect2Care, we’re committed to helping professionals in the sector develop the skills they need to help manage their own mental health and support their colleagues through these challenging times”.