Free online mental health training for everyone in Cornwall and the Scilly Isles

We are delighted to introduce a new online mental health training package which is now available for all working people across Cornwall and the Isles of Scilly to help them cope with the stresses and strains of the pandemic.

Developed and hosted by TeamDoctor's sister company, The Sound Doctor. the package includes three modules covering psychological first aid, mental health and trauma awareness.

It features short films including Cornish residents as well as NHS Kernow and Cornwall Council representatives and is freely available to people working in every type of organisation across the public, private and voluntary sectors.

The training package has been designed to help working people with their own wellbeing, but also to give them the confidence and skills to help colleagues and create a more supportive workplace.

The pandemic has had a significant impact on both employers and employees across the county as they deal with issues such as furlough, working from home, staff sickness and business closures.

The online training aims to help people:

• Understand how someone’s lifestyle and workplace can affect their mental health.

• Learn how to recognise signs of stress, anxiety and depression.

• Learn how to manage stress and anxiety effectively.

• Discover useful and practical coping and relaxation techniques.

• Understand the role of trauma in mental health and how to manage it.

• Become happier and more productive at work and at home.

Launch of the package coincides with Blue Monday, the third Monday of the New Year, which is said to be the saddest day of the year due to a combination of bad weather, long nights and the post-Christmas comedown.

Local evidence suggests that the number of people experiencing possible anxiety and/or depression in Cornwall and the Isles of Scilly has roughly doubled since the pandemic began.

Dr Richard Sharpe, Advanced Public Health Practitioner and mental health lead at Cornwall Council, said:

“Whether you've been working on the front line dealing directly with Covid every day or working from home and coping with the isolation that brings, the pandemic has impacted every working person's mental health to a greater or lesser degree.

“This is why Public Health Cornwall and NHS Kernow have jointly commissioned an exciting new mental health training package for Cornwall and the Isles of Scilly.

“The Sound Doctor training package spans three modules covering psychological first aid, mental health awareness and trauma informed training. It is designed to help working people with their own wellbeing but also to give them the confidence and skills to support those around them. Our hope is that this will create more trauma-informed and supportive workplaces across our communities.”

Tim Francis, NHS Kernow’s Associate Director of Strategic Commissioning: Mental Health, Learning Disability and Autism, said:

“The pandemic has had a clear impact on the workforce across Cornwall and the Isles of Scilly, which includes those working on the front line from the NHS, Local Authority, care homes, home care providers and the voluntary sector. Other workplaces impacted by the pandemic includes those who have experienced closures, having staff on furlough, working from home and returning to the workplace after a period of furlough for example.

“The training package developed and hosted by the Sound Doctor has been designed to be freely available to all workplaces including the public, private and voluntary sectors. We are excited to be working with Sound Doctor on this joint venture for the next five years.”

Cllr Dr Andy Virr, Portfolio Holder for Adults and Public Health at Cornwall Council and an Emergency Department consultant at the Royal Cornwall Hospital, said:

“It’s not just people’s physical health that Covid has affected, it’s also had a huge impact on mental health too. This is why it is vital that, working alongside our colleagues in the NHS, we continue to offer easily accessible help and support to anyone who might be struggling.

“The Sound Doctor training package is a superb initiative that not only allows people to improve their own wellbeing, but also gives them the tools to help others in their workplace. By creating supportive working environments we can help make sure no one is left to face the mental burden of the pandemic alone.”

Rosie Runciman, co-founder of TeamDoctor and The Sound Doctor, said:

“We are delighted to be part of this innovative and exciting initiative. Our training package is full of short films, animations and other resources. We hope that everyone in workplaces throughout Cornwall and the Scilly Isles will benefit from using it.”

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