Care Workers Charity launches grant scheme to support care workers’ mental health
15 September, 2020
Research from The Care Workers’ Charity (CWC) report “The Beating Heart of Care: Supporting Care Workers Better” shows that the mental health of care and support workers was suffering before the Covid-19 pandemic. The report found that many care workers were often in in-work poverty and were often suffering from mental health issues due to their low paid and emotionally charged frontline roles as carers.
Since then, social care workers have experienced additional challenges during the covid-19 pandemic. The CWC says the toll on mental health has been and continues to be massive.
A survey conducted during the early months of the pandemic by the Queen’s Nursing Institute recognised that “there are far more beds in care homes with nursing than there are in hospitals in England” and CWC points out that delivering a high level of care to individuals who need a ‘combination of support for complex physical and cognitive needs’ requires a high level of skill.
In such settings, end of life care is often unavoidable and can be extremely draining on the mental and physical wellbeing of the workforce. Of the people surveyed, 80% of respondents “reported very negative experiences” of working during March – May 2020. 56% of respondents felt worse or much worse in terms of their physical and mental wellbeing. Other contributing factors to their negative feelings were not being valued, poor terms and conditions of employment, feeling blamed for deaths of service users and a lack of clear guidance.
In response to these pressures The Care Workers’ Charity is preparing to introduce mental health grants for people working in the social care sector. The charity is also looking at offering sessions of therapy or counselling from licensed professionals tailored to the needs of the individual, and is currently running trials to identify partners to deliver this.
The Care Workers’ Charity executive director Karolina Gerlich said the Covid-19 pandemic had shown the resilience and determination of care and support workers as they continued to care for the most vulnerable members of society.
“The toll on the mental health of care and support workers has been great, long before the pandemic,” said Ms Gerlich.
“However, Covid-19 has compromised the mental wellbeing of individuals who may have struggled with their mental health previously and people who have never previously struggled with anxiety or depression are now finding their mental health is suffering.
“We are now appealing for support and donations to this fund to help us ensure care workers receive the right type of guidance and support to help them through what has been a very dark period for most.”
Donations can be made by following the fundraising link here: https://thecareworkerscharity.enthuse.com/cf/mental-health-appeal