Staff networks: What's new? — articles for November 2021

Support for our diverse colleagues

Support for our diverse colleagues

Bespoke health and wellbeing support for our diverse colleagues

As part of the national health and wellbeing programme for our NHS people, and working in collaboration with our staff networks, we have developed a number of bespoke support offers for our Black, Asian and Minority Ethnic (BAME) NHS colleagues.

If you need support now and would like to talk to someone or access support via a health and wellbeing app, please click here for details on our Samaritans helpline, Hospice UK bereavement helpline and how to access the apps.  You can also seek support through our staff mental health hubs or through your GP and local NHS services.

Mental Health First Aid (MHFA) training

We are working with MHFA England to offer a cohort of training sessions aimed at NHS staff from diverse backgrounds, focusing on our BAME, LGBT+ and disabled colleagues. The programme comprises of four half-day learning sessions, facilitated virtually and you will need to attend all four half-day sessions to gain your certificate. MHFA won’t teach you to be a therapist, but just like physical first aid, it will teach you to listen, reassure and respond.

MHFA Training for BAME colleagues will commence on 21 September 2021. All places for these sessions have been filled.

MHFA Training for LGBT+ colleagues will commence on 22 September 2021. All places for these sessions have been filled.

MHFA Training for disabled colleagues will commence on 13 October 2021. All places for these sessions have been filled.

MHFA is an internationally recognised training course that teaches people how to spot the signs and symptoms of mental ill health and provide help on a first aid basis. We have limited places for this training project, places will be allocated on a first come first served basis. All data will be dealt with in strict confidence and will not be shared with any third parties.

Faith counselling from the Association of Christian Counsellors

A free service (for people of all beliefs and none) developed and funded by the Association of Christian Counsellors, who are offering up to 8 online or telephone counselling sessions from qualified counsellors at flexible appointment times by video or telephone, for:

  • NHS clinical and non-clinical staff working with Covid-19 patients in a hospital setting
  • Ancillary staff working in Covid-19 areas in hospital settings including cleaners, porters and mortuary workers
  • Paramedics and anyone working within the ambulance services caring for patients with Covid-19

The confidential service is open to people of all beliefs and none, and you can ask to be matched on ethnicity.

You can find out more and book a session here.

Looking After You Too: an individual coaching support offer for Black, Asian, and Minority Ethnic (BAME) staff working in NHS trusts

This is a one to one wellbeing coaching support offer for the BAME NHS workforce in NHS trusts.

Talking to a trained coach can help you process the experiences you are facing, develop coping skills and importantly, develop practical strategies to manage the situation and maintain your health and wellbeing, so you can carry on with your work and your life. It’s a space for you to offload the demands of whatever you are experiencing, deal with difficult conversations ensuring your wellbeing and resilience remains a priority.

All coaching sessions are free and confidential – details will never be shared with employers. All coaching sessions are available via phone or video call, seven days a week at a day and time that suits you.

This programme is open to new bookings, find out more and book here.

NHS Support line for our Filipino colleagues

There is a team of fully qualified and trained professionals, all of whom are Tagalog speakers, ready to help you at our NHS Support Line for Filipino Staff.

This support line is here for when you’ve had a tough time, are feeling worried or overwhelmed, or maybe you have a lot on your mind and need to talk it through. This assistance is available from anywhere in the country and is provided by Hospice UK.

Tagalog speaking specialist counsellors and support workers are available if you would like to discuss:

  • any anxiety or emotional issues you may be experiencing
  • a bereavement
  • if your wellbeing has been affected by witnessing trauma as part of your work

To book a consultation, call: 0300 303 1115

All calls will be treated in the strictest of confidence and this will be explained to you when you call. This service is available seven days a week, between 8:00am and 8:00pm. You do not need a referral.


For more information, visit NHS England » Support for our diverse colleagues 

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FREE Art Based Health and Wellbeing Workshop - limited availability

Working alongisde Plymouth College of Art, an opportunity for an art based wellbeing workshop, aimed at women has been developed. The aim of this workshop is to explore our strong emotions. To come to terms with them, to be unafraid of sharing them and to understand that we are not alone in our feelings. In opposition to what we are regularly told to do, this is a celebration of strong emotions that are often bundled up inside ourselves awaiting an inopportune moment of release. We are giving them voice. This workshop is aimed primarily at women and how we have experienced the last year 


We have two available dates, with a maximum capacity of ten on each, on a first come, first served basis:


Tuesday November 9th @ 5.30pm

Tuesday December 7th @ 5.30pm


It will be held at Postgraduate Medical Centre, in the downstairs Communal and Events Room.


This has been paid for using the Network funds and has limited spaces, so please do ensure you are able to attend when you book.


Please email with an further queries, or to book your place on this course.


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