19th April 2023

Emotional & Psychological Wellbeing

Doctors in Distress are holding free weekly drop-in sessions, offering mental health support for all healthcare professionals. Offering a safe and confidential spaces, participants will be encouraged to chat informally and confidentially with other healthcare professionals about challenges and shared experience. All sessions are led by an experienced facilitator.

Held via Zoom, session run on a Wednesday’s 12:30-13:30pm.

Details on how to join can be found on the flyer here.

The Access to Work Mental Health Support Service is funded by the Department for Work and Pensions and available to those at work who need support with mental health, coping skills and workplace adjustments. It is a cost free, voluntary, confidential and non-clinical service delivered by Maximus that you can promote to your workforce to help reduce absenteeism and presenteeism.

You can read more here.

Emotional health and mental wellbeing affect all aspects of our lives and health choices. Mental wellbeing is about feeling good and functioning well, as individuals and as communities. It is also about our ability to cope with life’s challenges and making the most of life’s opportunities.

Derby & Derbyshire Emotional Health & Wellbeing  signpost to professionals, members of the public and children and young people who wish to access local services or just require further information on the services that are available to them both locally and nationally. 

The four elements of the website focus on are:

  • Children and Young People
  • Adults
  • Suicide Prevention
  • Neurodiversity

The website also offers a FREE and interactive Google Map highlighting in one place the pathways and support options for mental health and wellbeing in the county of Derbyshire. It contains 10 mental health themes offering a wealth of information, follow up links and directions.

  • Crisis Support
  • Peer Support Groups
  • Helpline and Online Support
  • Green, Nature and Outdoor Activities
  • Free Mental Health Training
  • Community Mental Health Teams
  • Counselling Services
  • Voluntary Service
  • Supportive Organisations
  • Mental Health and Wellbeing Information.

For more information on the services and the interactive map, visit the website here.

If you're struggling with any aspect of your emotional wellbeing we want to make sure we're providing support for you.

Visit the Resolve Staff Support Services page here.

On our Wellbeing Intranet pages you will find an abundance of resources to support you to recognise & respond to stress. Stress is something we actually need a little bit of - it is a little mini stress that gets us running for the bus or hurrying away from danger. We often struggle when that feeling we get from a 'mini stress' sticks with us throughout our day and spreads into all areas of our life.

Stress itself is not a mental health condition, but we know that it can develop into depression or anxiety if it is not promptly recognised and responded to.

It is important that we equip ourselves with tools to recognise stress in ourselves and in others.

Do you know your own symptoms of stress? Perhaps you recognise some of these symptoms in yourself or others. You may find that when you are stressed about something in  particular you get a specific stress symptom or you recognise that an early sign of stress produces one symtom and progresses to another symptom as your stress levels increase? It is a good idea to write down your own symptoms of stress and share them with your colleagues so that you can look out for each other.



Stress tends to be triggered by something and it is how we perceive that 'something' that causes us to feel stressed.  Of course there are external factors that contribute, but it is our perception of them that ignites the stress response. For example you have a difficult piece of work to complete (external factor), the piece of work doesn't cause a stress response, but the feelings you have around it may do - e.g ‘I can’t do it, I don’t know enough’ (comes from inside) and causes a stress response.

The key here is to change our belief that we can’t do it and don’t know enough……..the way we perceive things often comes from our core beliefs (beliefs that we have developed as we grew up.) Our negative core beliefs tend to take over when we feel stressed. 

Core Belief.JPG

Core beliefs can trigger stress e.g. being late means we don’t care therefore everyone will think badly of us when we arrive late. It isn’t being late that causes stress it is our we then perceive what being late means.

What are your core beliefs? Think of a few recent scenarios where you have felt stressed – try to identify the belief behind the stress response. We can then start to challenge our core beliefs by asking; 

•How could I think about this differently?

•What evidence is there to support my thoughts?

•When this has happened before what happened?


There's lots about stress that we can't control, but there are things we can do to help us be better ready to respond to it. We can do activities that help our general state so that when mini stressses pop up we can respond and then move back into our usual state pretty quickly.


Some tips on looking after your general state include;

*Stay connected to others (you might like to join a peer support group at work or take part in an activity)

*Practice meditation or relaxation (the headspace app is a great place to start & is currently free to NHS staff  Headspace for the NHS – Help Center)

*Start a gratitude list - 3 things each day which make you feel truly thankful. (Before you know it you don't need to look for them any more!)

*Get the basics in place; food, hydration, daylight & move your body!

*When you feel stress lingering around think 'what is the next positive action I could take right now?' (It might be put the kettle on, make a phonecall, ask for help or make a list!)


To look into stress & how you recognise & respond to it in more detail contact the staff wellbeing team on dchst.yourwellbeingteam@nhs.net 

You can access further information about stress here (where you can also create your own mind plan) https://www.nhs.uk/every-mind-matters/mental-health-issues/stress/?WT.mc_id=Stress&gclid=EAIaIQobChMI0tLL-4_d-gIVTNTtCh3adwAYEAAYASAAEgL3-PD_BwE&gclsrc=aw.ds 

If you need to talk to someone today you can access a 24/7 counselling support helpline on 0800 085 1376.

Or to arrange a series of counselling appointments contact the Resolve Staff Counselling Service: 01246 515951 resolve@nhs.net

At DCHS we are committed to supporting the health and wellbeing of those who work for and use our services. We know that suicidal thoughts or feelings can impact on anybody and are here to support you to feel confident in starting a conversation about suicide, or to seek help if you need it.

Suicide is a preventable death, and we can all do something about it. We can all make a difference by reaching out and talking to someone we’re concerned about.

Whether you are concerned about a patient or worried about a colleague, it is vitally important that we feel able to ask, “are you feeling suicidal?” if we think a person is experiencing suicidal thoughts. 

You may worry that bringing up the topic of suicide could introduce the idea to the person. This is a myth. Evidence shows asking someone if they’re suicidal can protect them. Asking someone if they’re having suicidal thoughts can give them permission to tell you how they feel and let them know they are not a burden.

Support to have conversations about suicide 

There is support available to help you have these conversations.  You are encouraged to complete a short online course that will provide you with the knowledge and tools that can help you address suicidality in patients and colleagues. It has been developed by a charity called the Zero Suicide Alliance and it takes approximately 20 minutes to complete.

You can find the Zero Suicide Alliance training by following this link: 20 minute suicide awareness training (zerosuicidealliance.com)

If you are concerned about a colleague 

Employers and line managers can all provide an important support network for staff experiencing poor mental health.

Before you reach out, have a think about where you might want to talk to them. Make sure to choose an appropriate environment or space where they feel safe. This will vary depending on the person but consider how private the time and place are.

You could start the conversation by asking open questions like ‘How are you feeling today?’ Asking questions like this will help to encourage someone to expand on why they might be feeling a certain way. They might feel nervous about talking to you so be patient with their answers and listen carefully to what they have to say. You might feel shocked, upset, or frightened, but it’s important not to blame the person for how they are feeling. They may have taken a big step by telling you.

Ask open ended questions and practice active listening. You could say ““I’d like to understand more about what you’re going through. Can you tell me more?”

If you observe worrying behaviours or if your colleague says something that concerns you, ask them directly about suicide.

“You’ve mentioned that you’ve been feeling really low and hopeless recently. Sometimes people who feel like this can experience suicidal thoughts. Have you been having any suicidal thoughts?”

“Sometimes when emotional pain is so intense, people think about suicide. I’m wondering if suicide might have crossed your mind, even if just fleeting in nature?”

Discussing suicidal thoughts

If a colleague discloses to you that they have been feeling suicidal, it is important to ask about the nature of these thoughts to understand whether there is an immediate risk to their safety. Ask them directly if they have plans to end their life.

If they do have plans, ask them what they would do. If they are considering dying by using a certain method (e.g., overdose or hanging), find out whether they have access to the means in which to do this.

If you feel there is an immediate risk (for example your colleague has a plan to end their life and has said they intend on acting upon it), it is important that you do not keep this information to yourself.

  • If the person has an imminent plan to end their life, you should contact 999 or support them to visit your nearest A&E department.
  • The Derbyshire Mental Health Helpline and Support Service is also available to support people with suicidal thoughts and can provide access to urgent mental health support. They can be contacted 24/7 on 0800 028 0077.

If you feel there is not an immediate risk to the person’s safety, it is still important to encourage them to seek support.

If you are the person’s line manager:

  • Ask them whether this is something that they have discussed with their GP. If they haven’t, you could encourage them to do so to enable them to access professional support for what they are experiencing.
  • Consider referring this person to Occupational Health or the Wellbeing service to enable them to access support at work.
  • Keep in regular contact with your colleague and check in with them about how they are doing. Ask if there is any support that you can provide that might help them at work.
  • Let them know what local support is available for them (see next section)
  • Encourage them to develop a safety plan (see next section)

If you are not the person’s line manager: explain to your colleague that you are worried about their safety and that you feel that this information needs to be shared with their line manager so that they can be supported.

Support available for someone who may be feeling suicidal (drop down)

If you are thinking about suicide or going through a personal crisis, there is help available. You don't need to face these thoughts and feelings alone.

It is important to speak to your GP if you are concerned about your mood, particularly if you are having thoughts of self-harm or suicide. Your GP will be able to offer you an appointment and advice on how you might best manage your mental health.

If you feel as though you cannot keep yourself safe, go to your nearest Emergency department or phone 999.

If you or someone you know is feeling suicidal, there are people you can talk to:

  • Speak to a friend, family member or someone you trust
  • Call the Derbyshire Mental Health Support Helpline on 0800 028 0077 (7 days a week, 24/7)
  • Call the Samaritans 24-hour support service on 116 123 or contact Samaritans online, For more details click here.
  • Text Shout to 85258 to access a free, confidential, 24/7 text messaging support service if you are struggling to cope.
  • Talk to CALM charity (a charity dedicated to preventing male suicide) between 5pm and midnight by calling 0800 58 58 58 or visiting their website
  • People under the age of 35 can contact Papyrus charity’s Hopeline between 9am and midnight by calling 0800 068 41 41 or texting 07860039967.

You can also use the Staying Safe website for support, information or to develop a suicide safety plan. A safety plan can help you think about what you can do for yourself that will help you right now or in the future. It could include sources of support, people, and organisations to contact if you are struggling.


Long COVID employee support service

If you’re experiencing symptoms of long COVID you can access physical rehab and mental health support.

Long COVID can cover a large range of symptoms that persist for over 4 weeks after you first contracted COVID-19. You don’t need to have had a positive COVID-19 test to be experiencing symptoms of long COVID that may include fatigue, breathlessness and effects on mood and concentration.

We are offering all employees experiencing symptoms of long COVID access to the Joined Up Care Derbyshire staff support service (it is no longer only available to NHS and social care colleagues). To access the service you need to compete the self-referral form on Joined Up Care Derbyshireand return it by email to uhdb.longcovidsupport@nhs.net.

A wellbeing telephone appointment will be made to welcome you to the service, get more information about your condition and explain the options available that may be suitable for you. The team will look at your case to make sure that you are directed to the correct service. These could be:

  • getting self-help advice and guidance on supporting your mental health
  • enrolment onto a 4-week psychoeducational programme ‘Coping with COVID’
  • enrolment onto 4-week virtual physical rehabilitation classes of various levels depending on severity screening assessment and ongoing monitoring of vitals - this would be following a 2 week self-directed ‘lung stretching’ phase that links exercise recovery to lung, chest and mental recovery, without exacerbating fatigue
  • referral onto acute services or step 3 level mental health support
  • access to facilitated virtual peer support group
  • information about various lifestyle and support services across Derbyshire that may be helpful

You will be contacted by email from the long COVID support service or a member of staff will make a an initial wellbeing call to the number you provided on your form.


What is Schwartz…?               

Schwartz Rounds are simply an opportunity for lots of us to get together and have a discussion about how our work affects us emotionally. A ‘Round’ is formed of a small panel of staff that share their experience on a chosen topic such as ‘A patient I’ll never forget’ or ‘When even my best wasn’t good enough’. We all sit and listen before being invited to share our own thoughts and reflections. There is no need to say anything, many staff come to simply listen.     

So why do this?

Sitting and discussing the impact of our work in this way is shown to reduce feelings of stress and anxiety and bring staff closer together. Ultimately it creates a feeling of us all being in it together. We all struggle with things related to work and it’s ok to share these.

We look forward to welcoming you to the next round so you can discover what Schwartz is for you.

Next Schwartz Round: Thursday 25th January - Time: 14:00-15:00

Title: 'TBC'

Book you space for the Schwartz Round here.


The Wellbeing Team is launching a new Men’s Mental Health programme, Pit Stop – a safe space for men to socialise, share support, unload and get back on the road.

The Pit stop programme will run weekly on the following days:

  • Monday’s – virtual sessions, 5pm – 6pm
  • Thursday’s at RDH or virtual, 5pm – 6pm

(Please see supporting Pit Stop poster for further info)


Supporting Your Child Through Exam Season

At the Virtual Schoolgate (Peer Support Group) we have been having discussions about supporting children through exam season. In response to this we have pulled together some useful links and resources to support you to be there for your child.

Remember that in order to offer support to our children we really need to be offering ourselves some support and love too so be sure to include yourself in any support plans you make. You can find support for you as a parent here and you are very welcome to join the Virtual Schoolgate meeting taking place Thursdays 9.30am - 10.30am - contact pippa.short@nhs.net for the link to join.

  • You can find some great tips on how to handle the exam period here Exam stress | Family Lives
  • Got 3 minutes? Watch this video here for some tips on revision and how you can help support and motivate your child to get the amount of work right.
  • Need to know what NOT to say during exam season? Take a watch of this video here
  • Encourage your child to practice some self-care - find activities here Join in with them if you can too!

Family Lives offers a confidential and free* helpline service for families in England and Wales (previously known as Parentline). You can call them on 0808 800 2222 for emotional support, information, advice and guidance on any aspect of parenting and family life. If you don’t get an answer first time please do try again.

Helpline opening hours:

Monday to Friday 9am to 9pm

Weekends 10am to 3pm

More information and support available at Parenting and Family Support - Family Lives (Parentline Plus) | Family Lives

It is hard to separate Mental Health from Wellbeing in general - lots of the information on our Wellbeing Intranet pages is there to support your Mental Health such as access to counselling and the Peer Support Groups. However, we know that we are great at taking care of others and sometimes this means that taking care of ourselves gets forgotten about or perhaps doesn’t feel natural. We've put together some self-care ideas as well as some useful websites/podcasts/ resources for you to access.

Worried about someone else's mental health? Look at this factsheet for advice on what to do.

Self - Care
Self-care is a collective term for activities we do or actions we take to look after ourselves inside and out. Practising self-care techniques and making some general lifestyle changes, even if small at first, can help manage the symptoms of many mental health problems. Practising self-care can also prevent some problems from developing or getting worse.

Some useful ideas for self-care;

  • Go for a walk with no distractions
  • Listen to your favourite music
  • Read a fiction book
  • Have a relaxing bath
  • Write in a journal
  • Get creative or practise a hobby
  • Get active, for example dancing

More ideas are available on the MIND website.

The Blurt Foundation – We understand that there can be limitations in the amount of ‘budget’ we have for our self-care, so for some low-cost ideas take a look at this blog page.

The Blurt Foundation have also put together a self-care starter kit which helps you work out what practicing self-care might look like for you.  We are often encouraged to practice more ‘self-care’ but sometimes we wonder what that really means and how do we actually do it.

Every Mind Matters - NHS (www.nhs.uk) which includes some self-guided therapy and also you can download your own ‘mind plan’.

CENTER - A 30 Day Yoga Journey - YouTube

Derbyshire County Council - New adults only wellbeing group in Clay Cross.

Kenning Park Forest School has launched a new adults only wellbeing project.

Sessions will run every Friday during term time from 12.30pm to 3.30pm at Kenning Park at
the fisheries car park, just off Fishes Lane in Clay Cross.

Have a go at:

  • Finding wild food
  •  Crafts
  •  Making bird feeders
  •  Guided walks
  •  Exploring and improving the park

There will be free refreshments and lunch.

For more information, call 07743 110 078 or email:  kenningparkforestschool@gmail.com


Sometimes we all need someone to talk to – someone that’s not our therapist or our doctor or our family member – but someone who is impartial and isn’t going to try and give advice. Derbyshire Mind are here for you, with MindSpace. 

What is MindSpace?
MindSpace community meetups are informal community walks in local parks. They are perfectly unstructured so that they can flex to suit whatever the group needs or wants on the walk that week. Sometimes we will just walk and talk, sometimes we might stop for a coffee in the local café, sometimes the conversation will be centered around a particular topic that someone has raised.

All MindSpace walks are supported by our fantastic Derbyshire Mind volunteers who are friendly, inclusive, welcoming and really great listeners. We listen without judgement and without trying to ‘fix’ or give advice. You can rely on us to be here every other Friday, same time same place, no matter the weather, and ready to listen to whatever you are feeling or having trouble with.

When and Where?
The groups meet every fortnight at the same location and time – our current MindSpace locations are listed below:

  • Fridays (Every Other Week) – Markeaton Park. Meet at 10.30am, at the Model Railway Building by the Main Car Park (DE22 3BG)

We meet whatever the weather, you can rely on us to be there for you. If it is raining, we just pop on a rain coat. If it is sunny, we just pop on some sun cream!
If the weather is extreme however, such as thick ice or snow for instance, then we will move the group to our ‘Plan B café’ location for safety reasons. We will inform you by posting this on our social media pages and by contacting everyone that is registered to that walk location.

How to Book a Place on an Upcoming MindSpace MeetUp:
We would love to meet you at your local MindSpace group!

If you are thinking of joining us on a MindSpace meet up in your local park we ask that you register your attendance. You only need to do this once.  This is so that we have your contact details needed to add you to our MindSpace database and we can contact you if the walk has to be moved to a cafe due to weather.
After that first registration you are very welcome to just turn up at the park each fortnight or whenever suits you.

You can Register Your Attendance here.

You can find all of their upcoming walks and groups on their Activities Calendar page.

Bereavement Peer Support Group.  Jason Rose (Resolve Counsellor) runs this support group for colleagues within our trust and across the Derbyshire system. The group provides an opportunity to share and reflect with others in a safe and supportive space.

Please contact dchst.yourwellbeingteam@nhs.net if you would like the link to join the group. 

The Good Grief Trust.  The Good Grief Trust exists to help all those affected by grief in the UK. Their vision is to help those bereaved from day one, acknowledge their grief and provide reassurance, a virtual hand of friendship and ongoing support. The trust brings bereavement services together, to ensure that everyone receives the tailored support they need to move forward with their lives.

The Lullaby Trust. The trust offer confidential bereavement support to anyone affected by the sudden and unexpected death of a baby or young child. Open every day of the year, their free helpline offers you a place to talk; a listening service that is confidential and for as long as you need. 

Bereavement Advice Centre. Bereavement Advice Centre supports, advises and signpost people on the many issues and procedures that face us after the death of someone close. 

There may be times that we want to talk to someone about things that we are finding difficult but aren’t quite sure who to talk to. A range of peer psychological support, for individuals and teams is now available, in collaboration with our colleagues across Joined Up Care Derbyshire.

The different types of support are

  • TRiM (Trauma Risk Management) – For individual staff members who may have experienced a difficult or challenging experience at work. For more information click here.
  • StRaW (Sustaining Resilience at work) – For individual staff members who are experiencing signs and symptoms of stress. For more information click here.
  • Reflective practice – For teams that have had a difficult or challenging experience. For more information click here.
  • REACT – A training session to equip staff members with the skills to hold supportive conversations with colleagues about their mental health. For more information click here.

All the different types of support are provided by trained staff and can signpost staff to professional wellbeing support, such as Resolve counselling service, if required.

We are delighted that two members of the DCHS team have completed the training to TRiM support to our colleagues. Lewis and Emrys both work for the Positive and Safe Team and already offer staff support in difficult times, they are now both looking forward to offering TRiM to staff who may need it. If you want to find out more, you can contact Lewis and Emrys at emrys.owen1@nhs.net or lewis.hill1@nhs.net

Photo of Emrys Tudor Owen

Emrys Tudor Owen                                                    

Positive and Safe Practitioner



Photo of Lewis HillLewis Hill

Positive and Safe Practitioner