Pennine Care NHS Foundation Trust is pioneering an online therapy programme to support its workforce to cope with workplace stress.
The programme, called Shift Your Stress, is an online five-week course using “acceptance and commitment therapy”, a progression of cognitive behavioural therapy.
“We know that mental health issues are among the highest causes of staff absence nationally within the NHS”
Pennine Care is the first trust in England to provide the approach, which involves mindfulness exercises and values clarification, via its staff wellbeing service.
The trust said it wanted to maximise access to therapeutic intervention for its approximately 6,000 employees.
The programme is available at any time convenient to the user, supporting staff working shifts and with family commitments.
In addition, it does not require individuals to meet with their manager, occupational health, or counsellor – referral is made directly to the trust’s staff wellbeing service.
Katie Kay, manager of Pennine Care’s staff wellbeing service, said: “We know that mental health issues are among the highest causes of staff absence nationally within the NHS and can also impact on our staff’s ability to perform in their jobs.
“We are pleased to be able to offer the online Shift Your Stress programme as another form of support,” she said.
The programme offers a “ground-breaking alternative approach” to workplace stress management, according to the company providing it.
The Anglo-Finnish company Headsted said the approach was based on robust research supported methods, and provided new and effective ways to handle stressful thoughts and situations.
The service has been shortlisted for a Nursing Times award in the “improving staff experience” category.