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New online mental health service launched for frontline workers

The new tool for frontline workers is an instant chat service.

A NEW MENTAL health service has been launched for frontline workers.  

Minister for Health Stephen Donnelly announced the service, which is being provided by turn2me, and said it’s for anyone who is working on the frontline, from healthcare professionals to those working in retail, and from teachers to tradespeople.

The new tool for frontline workers is an instant chat service. Each session is facilitated by a mental health professional and supported by trained volunteers.

There are 20 groups available each week and there are job-specific groups available, as well as groups based on shared issues such as stress, burnout and how to maintain a healthy work-life balance. 

Groups are scheduled at different times in the day throughout the week to accommodate shift workers, and participants can remain anonymous when online. 

Donnelly said: “It has been a difficult year for everyone across the country, but especially for our frontline workers. While the majority of people were asked to stay at home, our frontline workers went to work.

“Among them were our healthcare professionals who acted selflessly, putting their own health at risk, in order to care for their patients. We owe them, and all frontline workers, a debt of gratitude. These experiences will have taken a toll on many, which is why this online professional mental health service from turn2me is so important.”

Demand for turn2me’s services has increased significantly. At the peak of the pandemic earlier this year, demand spiked by 386%. 

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Brian Holohan, clinical manager at turn2me, added: “The adverse psychological impact of working in such stressful circumstances, while at the same time dealing with the reality of Covid-19 in their personal lives, should not be underestimated.

“There’s a large evidence base that peer support, like the service we’re launching for frontline workers, is effective and that it can also act as a helpful gateway for people who haven’t reached out for help before. If you’ve been struggling in any way, please know that you are not alone and that talking will help.”

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