National Carer’s Week – Make Caring Visible, Valued and Supported

This week is national carer’s week, and the theme is about making caring visible!

Caring has definitely become more visible, thanks to the pandemic.  Never before have we recognised and appreciated the hard work of those who care for others, than when faced with a global crisis.   From clapping on doorsteps to rainbows in our windows, to the photos of NHS staff with their faces marked by the masks, the ‘unsung heroes’ have touched all of our hearts.

But the question on our minds at MindfulnessUK, is who is looking after the carers now?  Now that the limelight has died down, now that we are moving back into our old routines, who is picking up the pieces, who is supporting their mental well-being and helping them to recover from the heightened stress that they lived through for over 2 years?

The data is coming through thick and fast about the impact of the pandemic on our key workers:

  • 8% of social workers agreed or strongly agreed that working during the Covid-19 crisis had negatively impacted upon their own mental health. (BASW 2021)
  • 5% of nurses, believed they were burnt out, or ‘emotionally exhausted’. (Nursing in practice 2020)

We know as humans, that we don’t just bounce back, we need time, tools and support to help our bodies step out of chronic stress, to repair and to come back into balance.  Two years of stress does not come undone overnight.

The reality is that our carers need to be ready for the road ahead.  The long-term impact of Covid-19 is becoming more apparent with 1 in 6 children aged 6-16 identified as having a probable mental health problem (vs 1 in 9 in 2017) (NHS Digital 2021).  So, who’s looking after our children?  Parents, teachers, nurses, professionals and the people that have been caring for others continuously and intensely for 24 months.

In recognition of the fact that our health and social care workers are those most in need of support, the Compassionate Mindful Resilience course was created.  Karen Atkinson (Senior Partner and Co-founder of MindfulnessUK) knows what it’s like to be at the coalface of caring for others, through her lived experience as an NHS nurse.  She designed the course knowing exactly what carers need – self-awareness, permission to stop, tools for self-care and bucket loads of self-compassion!

The course is now reaching carers far and wide, as we work with organisations such as Unison, Somerset County Council and Kidney Care UK, helping them to support the well-being of their employees and patients, and we also continue to teach the course to as many Mindfulness teachers as possible who are then teaching the course to the NHS, to parent-carer groups and those in education.

If you would like to show how much you value and support the carers in your organisation, then please get in touch, we would be more than happy to show how we can help.

If you are a mindfulness teacher, looking to develop your skills and knowledge and share your learning far and wide then why not join one of our teacher training courses – the next one runs in June and July, or you can join us in November.

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