March on Stress has been awarded the 2021 ‘Outstanding Occupational Health Initiative Award’ – by the Society of Occupational Medicine (SOM) at a ceremony held yesterday, Tuesday 7 December 2021.
The award is in recognition of two March on Stress initiatives – the operational support to the NHS through the delivery of REACTMH® training over the last year and the March on Stress clinical service that is run for the charity Vetlife.
REACTMH® is a tool, developed by experts at March on Stress, which aims to help supervisors to have psychologically savvy and supportive conversations with a colleague about their mental health.
Operations Director, Gavin Rogers, said: “Since March 2020, we have delivered around 250 ninety-minute REACTMH training sessions to more than 2,000 people, including more than 1,200 NHS staff through a centrally-funded NHS England and Improvement project. The remotely delivered sessions focused on busy supervisors and were therefore purposefully brief. Additionally, we ran more than 120 REACTMH90 ‘Train the Trainer’ sessions to allow organisations to independently deliver REACTMH90 sessions across NHS Trusts as required.
“The REACTMH90 sessions were evaluated and the results published in Occupational Medicine. The evaluation showed a significant positive shift in participants’ confidence to hold a wellbeing conversation post-training.”
Vetlife Health Support (VHS) is provided by the March on Stress Clinical Team. VHS provides veterinary professionals with access to a comprehensive remotely-provided mental health assessment and care-coordination service on behalf of Vetlife – a charity supporting all veterinary staff in the UK. VHS aims to improve the mental health of the veterinary community and improve their ability to access evidence-based care.
Clinical Services Manager, Alex Gibson, said: “All service-users accessing VHS receive a formal mental health assessment and a comprehensive care plan is agreed. We support veterinary professionals to access appropriate NHS or other care, liaise with their GP ensuring continuity of care and provide short term supportive psychotherapy, such as guided self-help, where appropriate.”
Operating since 2017, the VHS team has continued to adapt its support to the veterinary community during the Covid-19 pandemic which placed an enormous strain on the industry and its staff. A 50% rise in the ownership of cats and dogs in the UK, staff shortages post-Brexit and adherence to Covid restrictions, have contributed to a markedly increased workload.
Professor Neil Greenberg, Managing Director, said: “Receiving the SOM award is a real honour and reflects the hard work that all the March on Stress team have put in over the last year, and of course previously too.
“We believe that anyone in psychological distress, whether as a result of exposure to potential trauma or the consequence of other, more day-to-day, occupational stressors, deserves access to the right evidence-based support and care in their workplace. We will continue to focus our efforts on supporting organisations that share this belief.”
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