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New mental health service launched to support Sussex health and care staff

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A new mental health service has launched this week for health and care staff across Sussex who are supporting our local communities during the Covid-19 pandemic.

Staff in Mind is a confidential NHS service for health and care staff who may be experiencing emotional or psychological difficulties. It has been developed by Sussex Partnership NHS Foundation Trust on behalf of Sussex Health and Care Partnership, an alliance that brings together all the NHS organisations and local councils that look after public health and social care across the county. The service is also available for staff employed by Sussex Partnership who work within Hampshire Child and Adolescent Mental Health Services (CAMHS).

Funded by NHS England and Improvement, the service offers an independent, confidential and rapid mental wellbeing assessment. It also provides priority access to treatment for people who – for whatever reason – may be less likely to seek help or who may prefer not to access the occupational health and wellbeing support that is available where they work.

Staff are being invited to complete an online self-assessment at www.sussexstaffinmind.nhs.uk to measure how they are feeling. They will be offered a more detailed follow-up assessment with a mental health practitioner, access to psychological treatment if they need it and an agreed follow-up to check on progress.

Psychologist and clinical director of Staff in Mind, Dr Juliet Couche, said:

“Health and care staff are consistently going above and beyond whilst caring for patients during Covid-19. They are working under huge, sustained pressure and are doing an incredible job. But they are not superheroes, they are human.

“In order to help staff continue caring for the local communities we serve, we need to look after their mental health and wellbeing. An important part of this is encouraging them to seek psychological and emotional support when they need it. Staff in Mind is for every health and care staff member across Sussex, from Intensive Care Unit nurse to hospital porter.”

The psychological impact of Covid-19 is demonstrated by data from the Office for National Statistics (ONS) which identified almost one in five adults (19.2%) were likely to be experiencing some form of depression during Covid-19, almost double the rate before the pandemic.

Research evidence points to the risk of health care workers experiencing diagnosable symptoms of traumatic stress in the months ahead. A recently published survey by King’s College London that looked at staff working in nine intensive care units in England found nearly half reported symptoms of severe anxiety, depression, post-traumatic stress disorder or problem drinking during the first wave of Covid-19.

A recent survey of 900 health and care staff across Sussex found that most (over 60%) have found their work both highly stressful and tiring over the last 6 months, and a third of this group (20% overall) reported feeling very stressed and tired.

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Delays possible as road works to last till June at Calvert Link, off the Kilnwood Vale Roundabout

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Crest Nicholson will begin road improvement works on Calvert Link, off the Kilnwood Vale Roundabout on Crawley Road, on the 11th of March 2021.

As part of these works, a new roundabout will be installed, and new road built to the west of the roundabout to cater for an anticipated increase in traffic flow due to the next phase of the residential development of Kilnwood Vale.

A change in traffic management is scheduled for the night of the 10th March 2021 and works are expected to be completed by 12th June 2021. During this time, Calvert Link will remain as a one lane access with use of vehicles via a traffic light system.

The improvements will continue to be fully funded by Crest Nicholson, in association with its nearby Kilnwood Vale development in Faygate.

Progress made in the area so far includes highway improvement works at the Cheals Roundabout, new draining to improve overall road conditions, a new footpath on Horsham Road to ease pedestrian access and bases for the new road lanes added to the approach and exit points via Horsham.

Crest Nicholson has put measures in place to ensure disruption is kept to a minimum and access to surrounding properties, businesses and areas will be maintained at all times.

Should there be a need to contact the team, the contact number for the contractor carrying out the works is 01202 653570

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