Our sister charity, Options Wellbeing Trust is offering frontline care workers in Southampton free counselling support to help them through the ongoing pandemic, especially with the arrival of Omicron.
The team wants to help those whose wellbeing and mental health has been adversely affected by the continuing Covid situation.
Head of Health and Wellbeing, Wendy Lee, says: “Social care workers, those that work in care homes or in the community in customers’ homes, have been at the forefront of the response to this on-going situation.
“They have been working tirelessly, going over and above, to support the vulnerable people who they care for, for nearly 19 months now. They’ve struggled through the stresses and strains associated with lockdowns and have also had the ongoing worries about their customers’ health, keeping them safe and protecting the NHS from any potential overloads.
“Omicron and all that comes with it may now be overloading them. We’re here to help, even if they just need someone to talk to confidentially, especially during the festivities when they may be working harder than ever to provide cover and are unable to be with their loved ones.
“Working closely with residents in Southampton, we’ve seen first-hand how the pandemic has had a profound negative impact on many people’s mental health and wellbeing, particularly those who have witnessed the effects of Coronavirus within their close circle.
“So, we’re re-launching our free service in partnership with Southampton City Council. We unveiled it originally earlier in the year and had thought by now that we’d have been further on with regards the pandemic. But with the arrival of Omicron, we’ve decided to re-boot the scheme and have allocated some funds to continue it. We’ve already had wonderful feedback from people we’re currently supporting and we’re seeing a positive impact on people’s lives as a direct result of our service.
Someone to talk to
“But there’s much more we can do and we know that there are many more frontline social care staff who we can help.
“They may be individuals who cannot afford counselling or would just like someone to talk to – we’re here for them and urge them to contact us as soon as they can. We want to support those who’ve got the backs of everyone else who’s vulnerable in our society and help keep them safe and well too.”
Tools & skills to maintain wellness
We’re offering our support for those social care workers or teams that feel they would benefit from the opportunity of talking in confidence with a counsellor.
Wendy adds: “Our professional counsellors will listen without judgement and support those who need it; helping to find the best way to deal with the impact together, giving people the tools and skills to maintain wellness independently and supporting them to a brighter future.
“The team at our sister organisation, SCA Care, which provides person-centred domiciliary and day care activities to people across Southampton, already receive this support as a benefit of employment. But while we have funds available, we’d now like to extend this service to anyone who works in care across the city this winter.”
Counselling sessions are offered on a one-on-one basis or in small groups, online or by telephone. The service, available exclusively to social care workers, includes six sessions, completely free of charge and two follow up sessions. These are to check in and to see how people are doing and if they need more support.
For a confidential, friendly and informal initial chat, get in touch today with Options Wellbeing Trust.