Hampshire Air Ambulance's mental health support more important than ever

Hampshire Air Ambulance's mental health support more important than ever

Published by Jack Deery at 5:39am 22nd May 2020.

2 minute read

They are making sure their Critical Care Teams are getting the support they need during the pandemic.

The charity say that the measures they put in place a year ago to support the mental health and well-being of their teams are as important as ever.

In 2019, they became the first Air Ambulance charity in the UK to launch an online well-being programme to help their staff and volunteers with their mental health. 

With the coronavirus outbreak causing issues and many changes to people's usual routine, Hampshire and Isle Air Ambulance say the programme is crucial right now. 

CEO Alex Lochrane said:

"Like our Service, our Online Wellbeing Programme is evolving all the time and, crucially, it puts the best tools to sustain and protect their psychological health and fitness into the hands of the clinicians themselves.  

The addition of dedicated access to support from highly experienced mental health professionals is critical to ensure that they are both physically and mentally prepared for the, often life-changing, incidents that they attend on a regular basis."

The programme consists of a wellbeing website that aims to give staff the tools  to monitor their own mental health by completing an anonymous monthly survey.

Then, any member who is in difficulty is given access to a clinical psychologist and specialist. 

Property of Hampshire and Isle of Wight Air Ambulance
The charity set up the programme last year

HEMS doctor, Matt Kerton, who has led the programme for HIOWAA, said: 

"This year, Mental Health Awareness Week has an added poignancy and I feel proud that, thanks to our Online Wellbeing Programme, HIOWAA is in a position to provide their Critical Care Teams with the support that they need during these challenging times."

When the pandemic is over, the charity also has plans to introduce further measures to continue their support of their Critical Care Teams.

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