A LOCAL NHS trust has launched ‘wobble rooms’ to support staff’s mental wellbeing during the COVID-19 pandemic.
Cumbria, Northumberland, Tyne and Wear NHS Foundation Trust (CNTW), a provider of mental health and learning disability services, is offering staff the chance to sign up to virtual wobble rooms which provide staff with a way to articulate how they feel about the pressures they are dealing with.
The introduction of wobble rooms is part of a wider effort from CNTW to support staff wellbeing. Other measures also include a weekly wellbeing bulletin.
The virtual sessions, which are running three times a week, are facilitated by experienced members of staff and are open to all CNTW employees, whether clinical or non-clinical.
Dr Richard Duggins, Consultant Psychiatrist in Medical Psychotherapy at CNTW, said: “In situations like this, where we are going through a period of unknown pressures and challenges, people cope in different ways.
“Some people like to talk to others, maybe even have a little cry, and that’s what we’re here for. The feedback has been overwhelmingly positive so far with one member of staff saying it made them feel lighter.
“The wobble room provides a space dedicated to staff to be able to share things and support each other.”
Staff are able to sign up and dial in at a designated time, and they are encouraged to share their feelings or just listen to others. A range of topics have been discussed so far including how to adjust to the changes in our lives, anxiety, how to protect our families during the crisis and random acts of kindness.
Some services, including Walkergate Park, CNTW’s centre for neurorehabilitation and neuropsychiatry, have also created a physical wobble room where staff can go and take a break during their shift.
Andrew McMinn, Associate Director of Neurological and Specialist Mental Health Services at CNTW, said: “I am really thankful to the CNTW Schwartz team and the Clinical Neuropsychologist teams here at Wakergate Park for setting up our wobble room.
“Staff are really enjoying having access to the Wobble Room and are using the room for some much-needed time out, to listen to music and relax, and some quiet time to reflect on the work they are doing in supporting patients and staff affected by COVID-19.
“The wobble room serves as a space to have a safe conversation with staff members and psychologists.”