Preston academics launch online psychological hub for workers in forefront of the Covid-19 battle

Health academics at a Lancashire university have set up a new hub offering mental health support for key workers.

By Sonja Astbury
Tuesday, 12th May 2020, 3:45 pm
The new UCLan hub will support frontline workers during the pandemic.
The new UCLan hub will support frontline workers during the pandemic.

The online service has been put together by staff from the University of Central Lancashire to help people at the forefront of battling the coronavirus pandemic.

Staff from the institution's School of Psychology and School of Community Health and Midwifery have joined forces to create the new free online service for frontline NHS workers and their families, care home staff and military personnel involved the fight against the killer virus..

Through live video conferencing and audio technology, workers will be able speak in confidence directly to a member of the support hub team.

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The University of Central Lancashire

The hub will initially focus on providing support to people working in the North West, with the potential for it to be extended further afield.

Besides offering expert support on psychological issues affecting staff in their jobs, the support hub will also provide techniques on how to cope with stress in the workplace, as well as important support in dealing with the aftermath of distressing events experienced while treating patients during the pandemic.

Hub team members will also provide guidance on relaxation techniques that can be used as well as suggestions for improving sleep patterns.

Professor Jane Ireland from UCLan’s School of Psychology is one of the clinical leads for the new Psychological Support Hub.

She said: " Many events that NHS staff and care workers are witnessing during the current pandemic are beyond their normal expectations so this may be causing severe distress and upset for them.

"Our techniques will be designed to help workers cope better with the impact that extraordinary events like this will have on them not just immediately but in their efforts to recover from it afterwards.

“At the moment many of our front line workers will be experiencing increased stress, upset and pressure on a daily basis which may be causing them sleep problems and interfering with their ability to cope with the vital jobs they are doing.

“The Psychological Support Hub is now there to give that additional support to them when they need it the most and we would encourage all front line staff who are suffering to contact us if they are struggling."

As part of the support offered to workers dealing with distressing events, there will also be help available to staff who have recently lost a work colleague or family member to Covid-19.

The new hub can be accessed by visiting ; https://www.uclan.ac.uk/schools/psychology/psychological-support-hub.php