The Laura Hyde Foundation

The Laura Hyde Foundation are the UK’s leading charity dedicated to providing mental health support for our emergency services. Roles covered include nurses, Doctors, GP’s, paramedics, midwives, HCA’s, fire, police and care workers. Setup in 2018 following the suicide of nurse Laura Hyde, the charity has grown to a truly national level charity with representation in over 98% of hospitals across the UK.

This support has covered three core areas:
• Providing over 100 hours to a specific location of our mental health practitioner level support via our own free independent support service.
• Provided free clinical consultancy to wellbeing leads and senior management within NHS hospitals.
• Provide funding in accordance with the Laura Hyde Foundation’s grant making policy to a location to promote and improve wellbeing.

We are trusted by our audience to deliver the right support and communications. Examples include national campaigns such as ‘Start the Conversation’ and ‘No Mask for Mental Health’ both of which have been extremely successful, reaching an international audience of over 6.2 million people. The Laura Hyde Foundation provide mental health training and counselling support for those that require it offering over 20,000 hours of free, clinically supervised and independent support each and every month via their digital based service hub. We care for those who care about us.

How does your organisation contribute to preventing suicide and supporting those affected by it?

We are launching a suicide focused campaign entitled ‘This is an Emergency’ over the coming weeks that will deliver support services to the emergency services in this often taboo subject.

Many of our target audience across the emergency services hold such stigma on the topic of mental health due to fear of letting people down or that they will be removed form their job.

The reality is that we are working with an extremely vulnerable audience who are face a significantly higher risk of mental health issues and suicide risk than the average and more support is required.

Our independent charity presence and footing allows us to reach this audience uniquely ensuring that communications, resource and greater discussions on the topic can be generated.

What are your current priorities?

1) Proactive Support & Intervention

– Drive all NHS Trusts and workplaces to have preventative (rather than reactive) strategies in place to “catch” mental health issues before they manifest.

– Ensure a board level mental health champion is on every NHS Trust to demonstrate commitment to staff wellbeing.

– Embed mental health and staff wellbeing support criteria into trust inspections so that mental health initiatives form part of the evaluation process.

2) Education & Awareness

– Create and distribute educational content to form part of a mental health syllabus and promote within universities to reach future medical professionals.

– Support the training of middle management in workplaces with a focus on prevention, early identification and education.

– Provide video content to establishments to complement and enhance existing mental health provisions.

– Generate further public awareness of the specific challenges facing frontline staff, particularly in light of the Covid-19 pandemic.

– Push for further destigmatisation of mental health to facilitate an open dialogue for seeking help

3) Data & Action

– Improve data collection for medical sickness absence and suicide to gain a more accurate understanding of the scale of the problem.

– Use data to understand specific challenges relating to mental health to inform and recommend the changes required to combat them.

– Continue steering and collaborating with cross entity groups (e.g., National Working Group for Prevention of Police Suicide; National Working Group for Prevention of Suicide in Nurses and Midwives) to obtain national data to inform strategies and policies.

4) Support Students/Early Career cohort

– Determine specific support requirements for students and early career group who have been severely impacted by the pandemic.

– Ensure adequate peer support networks are in place for those who have largely been studying remotely, with access to further mentoring.

– Identify those students or junior staff who have had to prematurely assist on the front line in response to the pandemic, to reinforce and improve the mental health support available.

– Continue promoting best mental health and wellbeing practices within learning institutions and workplaces to ensure staff are properly supported at the start of their career to encourage good mental health “habits”.

What challenges are you currently facing?

An ability to understand the data behind mental health issues and the very real issue of red tape and bureaucracy that stifles public sector support.

We believe being part of this shared community that shares different values will allow us to be more effective in our mission statement.