10th October is World Mental Health Day

Mental health problems can affect anyone, any day of the year, but 10 October is a great day to show your support for better mental health and start looking after your own wellbeing.

If you know someone who may be struggling with mental health, it can be difficult to know what to do, or if you are a sufferer yourself, it can be even harder to know who to turn to.

Don’t forget that our mental health is just like our physical health – everybody has it and we need to take care of it.

Helping others

If you’re worried about someone and unsure how to help, here are 3 top tips:

  1. Don’t be judgemental – try  to understand their situation
  2. Speak to them – be a listening ear and allow them to open up
  3. Get prepared – know what to do in a crisis

Please visit the World Mental Health campaign website for more information and resources.

Recognition for our Comfort Call team in Tameside

We were contacted this week by Joanne Brannen, Regional Manager – North West and West Yorkshire, about some amazing news she’d received from Tameside Metropolitan Borough Council. Tameside, along with Greater Manchester Health & Social Care Partnership, had been shortlisted for the prestigious National HPMA awards.

The shortlisting was for the The University of Bradford award for cross-sector working, and recognised a pilot scheme which the Comfort Call branch was instrumental in setting up. The team at Tameside was very pleased to confirm that the scheme had won the award.

Dave Wilson, manager of the Tameside commissioning team, said; “I wanted to say a huge thank you for your work. You should all be very proud of this.”

Dave continued, “This will be a proper achievement and something that, already, other authorities are looking at doing and are asking us for advice. Well done Comfort Call and thank you very much for being so fab to work with.”

Congratulations to everyone involved.

Flu vaccine update

Owing to the level of demand, supplies of the seasonal flu vaccine are being delayed. It is important, however, that as many people as possible have the vaccine this year, so we urge you to keep checking with your pharmacist or GP and to get your jab as soon as you can.

Public Health Wales has confirmed that in line with the other UK nations, home care staff in Wales are eligible for the flu vaccine free of charge from community pharmacies.

A thank you to staff at Bowles Lodge

Magda Trepczynska, Regional Manager – South, has been in touch to pass on some wonderful feedback from the family of a service user. The resident of the Bowles Lodge Extra Care scheme in Kent had sadly contracted Covid-19, and her family had nothing but praise for the team’s response:

“I just wanted to give some feedback over the unprecedented last few months. The care that mum has received has been excellent, you and your staff have gone over and above in meeting the needs of the residents. Undertaking shopping, keeping supplies and increasing calls have all ensured her welfare. Thank you for the support, and helping the relatives and carers like myself to step back in order to protect during the pandemic knowing our loved ones are safe.

“Once again huge thanks and hoping the next few months will see life get back to a more normal.”

Amazing feedback, and the team have clearly made a huge impact for this family during the pandemic.

A poem about mental health

Following our article on mental health awareness last week, Gail Hodgkinson from our central recruitment team got in touch to share a poem, Samaritan, she’s written on the subject.

Gail told us, “In support of mental health week, and in view of the effect the current pandemic is having on so many, please find a short poem I wrote some years back. I hope it reaches out.”

Samaritan

The lifeless eyes were cold, yet bright,

She really didn’t want to die tonight,

She dialled the number “please talk me down”,

The unsung soldier was always around

The volunteer that came in peace,

For all he could offer was a release,

To talk it through, ‘til it made sense,

To give her fear less credence.

He helped to dry up all those tears,

A culmination of years and years,

With mug of tea in wise old hand,

The unlikely hero from tank top land,

But tonight he may have saved a life,

A gentle ear, a shoulder wide,

So don’t under rate our distant friend,

Samaritans listen to the bitter end.

Thank you Gail, we hope the poem connects with anyone whose mental health and wellbeing has been affected by the pandemic. If you need to speak to someone, don’t forget it’s free to call Samaritans on 116 123 where you can get confidential support.

More contract success in Redcar and Cleveland

In addition to the successful Comfort Call bid in Redcar and Cleveland we reported last week, we’re pleased to confirm that the Careline Homecare have also retained their contract in the area. Alongside Comfort Call, the Careline team will continue to provide care in a new framework contract starting from November.

A huge ‘well done’ to the bid team and everyone in the local ops team who contributed to the bid and secured the contract.