The coronavirus pandemic has caused additional challenges to our physical and mental health, and brought huge changes to the way we work.
Many of us have also been left without our usual support systems, which can make it difficult to speak out if we are struggling.
Fortunately, there are people who can help.
Wellbeing Through Work’s ‘In-Work Support Service’ is available for people who are employed or self-employed and living or working in Swansea, Neath Port Talbot or Bridgend counties.
This is a free and confidential service which has NHS therapists who can provide support to improve physical and mental health.
Paul Dunning, professional head of staff health and wellbeing at SBU Health Board, explained: “Providing timely support for people who are finding it difficult to cope in work is beneficial for both employees and employers.
“Our In-Work Support Service is able to provide rapid, confidential support, not only to people who are off sick, but also to a growing number who recognise that they need some extra help to stay fit and well in work.”
Always on hand to help
One person who has experienced the benefits of this service is Daniel from Swansea.
During the first lockdown, Daniel’s job became increasingly taxing and he was diagnosed with compassion fatigue.
He said: “I had a chat with my line-manager and explained that I was struggling, so he suggested I should be referred to the In-Work Support Service.
“A few days later, I received a call from the team and I wasn’t expecting a response so quickly. I told them how I was feeling and just being able to have a conversation and hear some impartial advice was so beneficial.
“Sometimes you just need someone neutral to say, ‘It’s okay to feel like this and what you are going through isn’t unique.’ That really helped.”
Daniel used the service for around six weeks and credits Wellbeing Through Work as keeping him going at work during a difficult time.
“Every session took place over the phone due to Covid-19 restrictions, but this wasn’t a problem as any help during this time is appreciated,” said Daniel. “I just needed to talk to somebody and the In-Work Support Service was the help I needed at the right time.”
Getting back to work
Alongside being available to those working, the service can also be accessed if someone is on furlough, shielding or working from home.
A service user in Swansea contacted Wellbeing Through Work when on furlough and had “hit rock bottom”.
The service user said: “I became ill in May and I really couldn’t do much, I couldn’t even get off the sofa. My doctor recommended the In-Work Support Service, so I gave them a call and it went from there.
“The service has done so much for me, I don’t think I could have coped without it. During my sessions with the therapist we discussed self-care, routine and sleep and after three months of support I am feeling a lot better.
“I probably wouldn’t be back at work now if it wasn’t for this support.”
So, if you are struggling in work and looking for some support, do not hesitate to give Wellbeing Through Work a call as they can help at the earliest opportunity.
Daniel added: “Don’t be afraid to look for help and don’t suffer in silence. It’s okay not to be okay. The In-Work Support Service is there to help and it wants to help you.”
Wellbeing Through Work’s ‘In-Work Support Service’ is part-funded by the European Social Fund through the Welsh Government. Find out more by visiting wellbeingthroughwork.org.uk or call 01639 684568.