Mental Health and Wellbeing Facility opens for Staff

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Warrington and Halton Teaching Hospitals NHS Trust has opened a dedicated mental health and wellbeing facility at Warrington Hospital named ‘The Sanctuary Hub’.

Designed to provide an environment conducive to staff wellbeing and recovery the £35K Sanctuary Hub was funded by NHS Charities Together and the League of Friends of Warrington Hospital in response to the Covid-19 pandemic.

The chalet-style building is located in one of the hospital courtyards and will offer a shared, relaxing space to host staff support groups, on-site counselling sessions and wellbeing activity including yoga, bereavement workshops and mindfulness therapies. The hub will be open daily for facilitated sessions with staff health and wellbeing counsellors, or as a drop-in centre for signposting to other support services that are available for staff and volunteers.

Professor Simon Constable, Chief Executive said: “There is emerging evidence that the COVID-19 pandemic has had a negative impact on the mental health and well-being of NHS staff; causing anxiety, stress and depression. Supporting staff mental health and well-being is therefore vital in ensuring the sustained capacity of the NHS workforce. “

In response to the COVID-19 pandemic, one of our priorities has been to deliver mental health and wellbeing support for staff as they work through challenging circumstances. In addition to making a number of immediate provisions, such as telephone helplines and access to counselling, the Sanctuary will now create a permanent legacy which will support our staff through this difficult time and beyond. We cannot thank NHS Charities Together enough for supporting us to do this.”

“This vital funding has enabled us to create a dedicated and visible support facility for staff as they recover from the emotional and psychological demands of caring for patients during two waves of the Covid-19 pandemic. A facility has also been created on our Halton Hospital site, the home of the Captain Sir Tom Moore Building and the Nightingale Building, to provide care and support for staff on that site.”

Anita Kirkham, staff health and wellbeing senior counsellor continued:

“The impact of the pandemic has been huge and supporting staff mental health and wellbeing is vital in maintaining a resilient workforce. We created our Staff Wellbeing Sanctuary to provide additional wellbeing and therapeutic support – a place where staff can feel safe and supported, and help their emotional recovery. “

The Sanctuary Hub provides a holistic approach to mental health and wellbeing, where staff can recharge and replenish or just switch off for a moment either to prepare for the start of a working shift or wind down after a shift. It will be a confidential space to talk, to rest and reflect, to get information and guidance on self-care or to participate in activities ranging from meditation, mindfulness and hypnotherapy.” If you would like to help or would like to make a donation to staff or patients please call the Community Hub on 01925 662 666 to arrange or email:

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