A Senior Programme Lead for the NHS in the north of England reflects on their experiences during the Covid-19 pandemic and shares how reaching out for support helped when they didn’t know where else to turn.
What is your role?
I work as a senior programme lead in a national policy team. I’m usually based in our national headquarters but like most staff, at the moment I’m working from home.
I love the work I do. I am a clinician by background and feel this really enables me to see the work I do through the eyes of a clinician. I lead large scale transformation, which ultimately leads to improved patient experience and outcomes.
Could you describe the challenges you were facing when you decided to text FRONTLINE to 85258?
I used the text service during the first lockdown, when I couldn’t think of who else to turn to.
One of my children is diagnosed with Asperger syndrome and the impact on her and the family has been significant. At times her difficulty in regulating her emotions leads to periods of extremely challenging behaviour including physical, verbal and emotional abuse. Being unable to leave the house, with routine taken away and our usual sources of support not being available during lockdown, has exacerbated the situation.
In the early hours of one morning, I laid awake in tears, really not knowing what I could do. It was then that I contacted the service.
You are not alone, despite it really feeling like you are. There are real people out there to support you now with your difficulties. Be kind to yourself.
Can you describe how you felt?
How about after?
Relieved and clear about a way forward. The volunteer helped me make a really big decision which I’ve since enacted. I had hope!
I wasn’t sure what to expect from the service, and it was a lot more human than I expected. Real messages returned filled with compassion, support and some really sound guidance.
It took 45 minutes to connect with someone, however this gave me time to clarify my thoughts and find a way to set out how I was feeling.
What would you say to others who may be struggling?
Pick up the phone and seek support. You are not alone, despite it really feeling like you are. There are real people out there to support you now with your difficulties. Be kind to yourself and take the courageous step to access support.
If you are finding things difficult or if your work on the frontline is impacting your mental health, you don’t have to cope alone.
Text FRONTLINE to 85258 to start a confidential conversation. We’re here for you 24/7.
Find out more about our support for frontline workers.