The service, BRAVE, has been created by RSPH Health and Wellbeing 2019 award-winning charity Body & Soul, to provide trauma-informed support to NHS workers who feel overwhelmed from being on the frontline of the Covid-19 pandemic.

BRAVE is a telephone therapeutic call-back service, where frontline workers and their families can schedule a 30 minute session with a qualified talking therapist. There is no limit to the amount of times someone can contact the service and there are options for additional, longer-term support if it’s needed.

As well as providing mental health support for frontline workers who are experiencing anxiety, stress and secondary and primary trauma from being at the coal-face of the crisis, there are also resources for emotional health support available for children and families of NHS workers. In a recent blog, Zoe Reynolds, Head of Pathways and Programmes at Body & Soul, explained why the service was so urgently needed and the potential BRAVE has to improve the mental health of frontline NHS workers.

The importance of services like BRAVE was highlighted in an open letter to Matt Hancock from the British Psychological Society (BPS) and MPs, outlining the essential need for NHS frontline staff to receive therapeutic support. The BPS and MPs said: 

“If we fail to act now, front-line staff and communities will be living with the psychological consequences of coronavirus for decades to come".

Shirley Cramer CBE, Chief Executive of the Royal Society for Public Health, said:

“Given the unprecedented level of pressure our health system is facing, we need to acknowledge the incredible load that NHS frontline staff are bearing on our behalf every day. To continue saving lives, they need to be well supported, and crucially, that involves protecting their mental health. With their extensive experience working with people affected by trauma and stress, Body & Soul’s new crisis support service for NHS staff is therefore timely and very much needed”.

Emma Colyer MBE, Founder & Director of Body & Soul, said:

In these unparalleled times Body & Soul has drawn upon our 23 years of delivering frontline support to communities impacted by trauma, to reach out to those most affected by Covid-19. We feel passionate about contributing to the collective healing that we all need during this crisis. It is a call for a human response, for love to be put into action and for us all to be there for those who need us”.