The online tool, entitled ‘helpers’, is a six-week free course which uses psychological theory and techniques to address different aspects of wellbeing during the coronavirus pandemic. Weekly sessions are delivered into your inbox and are designed to be worked through together with a peer support group or individually.
There has been a significant impact on mental health due the COVID-19 pandemic, and psychological support services are experiencing an unprecedented surge in demand. The NHS already has lengthy waiting times for access to mental health services and are struggling more than ever to meet current needs.
Helpers has been created to provide psychological support to those who need it while in lockdown who may not be able to access mental health services. The community-led project is a blueprint enabling a community to provide crucial psychological support for itself, without the need to wait for an appointment.
Talking about the project, Dr Jo Birkett said: “The coronavirus pandemic has impacted people’s lives in so many ways. We are worried about our family and friends, future and health, whilst at the same time losing sources of social support, routine and loved ones. When you take into account the different pressures we are facing such as home schooling, managing relationships and working from home, it is perhaps unsurprising that we are struggling to maintain our wellbeing.
“As a group of psychologists and health technologists, we wanted to use our different expertise to support people at this time. We created ‘helpers’ to enable people to come together and focus on their psychological wellbeing once a week. It’s been such a fast-moving and amazing project to be part of, and the passion of the team has completely blown me away.”