NHS confirms new mental health support services for dental and medical professionals

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The Department of Health and Social Care has confirmed that NHS England will be launching new mental health support services for medical and dental professionals. 

Under new measures, which are designed to support those struggling with stress and symptoms of psychological disorders, including depression and anxiety, more than 180,000 doctors and dentists will have access to confidential services. A dedicated phone line will be set up, providing 24-hour advice and support, as well as a crisis text service, which also operates around the clock. 

Matt Hancock, health secretary, said that the NHS wouldn’t function without “outstanding, devoted staff” and this is why it’s essential to bring in services, which will benefit those who are struggling to cope with the immense challenges that their roles present. Mr Hancock went on to suggest that NHS staff devote their time and energy to caring for others, so it is only right to ensure that they have the support they need. 

Mr Hancock said that there is a huge amount of work currently going into improving support services and trying to help staff, and one of the most important measures is ensuring those who are finding it difficult to cope have access to 24-hour support. 

The phone line will be staffed by over 200 staff who have training in understanding the demands of clinical roles, and appointments with a clinician of the individual’s choice will be available for those who have contacted the service. 

A pilot scheme, which has trialled the service, has received promising feedback, with 88% of those who called saying the service had made a positive impact on their wellbeing and 85% saying the service benefited them when trying to work, train or study. 

The move has been welcomed by leading organisations, including the British Dental Association.

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