Creating Positive Health and Wellbeing Environments

Develop health and wellbeing services that take a holistic (mental health, physical, emotional, social and spiritual) approach to supporting a person’s wellness.

South West London support for staff 

NEL Keeping Well service 

NCL Keeping Well service 

NEL Keeping Well service 

SEL Keeping Well service



Understand that barriers for seeking treatment include; stigma, shame and concerns about rejections, low mental health literacy, lack of knowledge and treatment-related doubts, fear of social consequences and limited time (Kantor et al., 2017).

On average one in three first responders experience stigma regarding mental health that included fears about confidentiality of services and fears that seeking psychological services would have a negative impact on one’s career (Haugen at al, 2017).


Common barriers to accessing health and wellbeing services and potential solutions

Barrier Potential solution
Confusing access routes Single access point to all services (e.g. website) that is clearly promoted through a variety of channels (e.g. social media, Trust communications, posters, existing staff networks)
Long waiting lists NHS and Social Care staff are prioritised to access all psychological support/interventions and IAPT services should be open to those who live or work in that area
High threshold for access Scope of IAPT services should include those with subthreshold PTSD & IAPT and workforce trained to support people with multiple traumas in same period
Stigma associated with psychological services Offer self-check & self-help options; digital chat functions; ensure and communicate confidentiality; multidisciplinary proactive encouragement for staff to seek support
Shame and concerns about rejections; fear of social and career consequences; fear about confidentiality Offer trauma-specific training for health care professionals providing wellbeing support.

Use media campaigns to publicise that psychological services provide a secure and supporting environment, trauma treatment has various proven positive effects, and that further difficulties could emerge from avoiding traumatic memories

Low mental health literacy, Lack of knowledge and treatment-related doubts Mobile health applications could provide psychoeducation and self-screenings for PTSD symptoms and suggest self-help interventions or, if necessary, direct users to appropriate services.
Limited time Offer flexible treatment options including appointments in early mornings, late evenings or on weekends.

Promote alternative treatment options that include telephone or media-based delivery strategies

Develop positive health and wellbeing services that take into account the barriers that prevent people from seeking further help.

Key features of a good staff chat platform
•       Embedded into local existing services

•       Clinically led and staffed by IAPT practitioners

•       Culturally sensitive with a focus on BAME staff

•       Staff engage with mental health and wellbeing support via chat. Can switch to video conference or telephone support if service user prefers.

•       Users guided toward relevant and helpful resources, including webinars, podcasts, self help guides or digital therapeutics.

•       The platform allows direct referrals into IAPT and supports prioritisation of the workforce group

•       Platform offers a specific capability to support diversity of the workforce through language matching and targeted social media approaches.

•      Could create a regional hub / network of practitioners sharing learning and innovation and using data to identify need and drive improvement.

Case Studies including:

  1. Case Study: NWL Keeping Well service
  2. Keeping well case example – West London Trust
  3. Case Study: NCL Together in Mind website

Useful links

NWL Keeping Well 

NCL Keeping well

NEL Keeping Well

Greater Manchester Resilience Hub

Connection through Music

To overcome these barriers Emergency Preparedness, Resilience and Response (EPRR) (NHS England. NHS Emergency Preparedness, 2019) recommends a proactive approach that would facilitate engagement with help.

Useful links

NHS EPRR resources

Responding to major incidents

Responding to the needs of people affected by incidents