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"A Mindapple a day keeps the Psychiatrist away"

Mind & Body Champion Nikki Helder shares how she has used the Mind & Body Health and Wellbeing Toolkit with the A&E team at St Thomas' Hospital.

MindapplesA&E is known to be a very stressful place to work. We are lucky to have a Matron and Clinical Lead who are very committed to Staff Wellbeing and I was asked to add an extra hour to the end of the nurses' development days that was devoted to Staff Wellbeing. 

Initially we decided to concentrate on 'sleep' and Dr Michael Farquhar, who is a Sleep Expert, working in the Evelina London Children's Hospital, very kindly came and did some sessions on sleep for us. He works with families and children but is passionate about staff wellbeing pertaining to sleep. At the end of that run of development days, I created a poster with the main points and added it to our Wellbeing board.

Myself and a colleague then managed to get a place on the Mind & Body training programme in March which further highlighted the importance of wellbeing for staff. I came away inspired and equipped with the Mind & Body Staff Health and Wellbeing Toolkit.

When we had our next set of development days, I decided to dedicate that last hour to two sessions from the toolkit - the Wheel of Wellbeing and the Mindapples sessions.

For the Wheel of Wellbeing, I showed the little video from the Wheel of Wellbeing website and then challenged the staff to make a pledge to make a change on any one or even all six of the aspects listed. I particularly stressed the importance of being kind to one another and referenced a member of staff who always brings two coffees to work - one for him and one for the first member of staff he sees! Staff then shared their pledges with the rest of the group, if they chose to. The majority were taken away by the staff, but I had permission for some to be shared on our Staff Wellbeing board.

The second half of the hour was devoted to the Mindapples Session. I printed out a load of coloured apples and then got staff to think about what one thing (or a few things) that they did for their mental health every day, with the slogan of 'a Mindapple a day keeps the Psychiatrist away!' – a new twist on ‘an apple a day keeps the doctor away’! Staff then wrote their 'Mindapples' on an apple. I have since produced a big display which is in the coffee room [pictured] so that staff have access and can read them on their breaks while they wait for food in the microwaves!

We also have the 'greatix' (as opposed to doing a 'datix') where we can nominate to recognise a member of staff for the fantastic job they do. Or they can email to :thanks to you within the Trust’s email system and the person receives a card from the acute medicine managers detailing the thank you.

The next development days are in October and we are already making plans about what we will do for those! We are thinking the 'stress' session from the Mind & Body Staff Health and Wellbeing Toolkit, plus some resilience work and maybe getting some wellbeing dogs to visit at the end of the session!

Download the Mind & Body Staff Health and Wellbeing Toolkit here.

King’s Health Partners Mind & Body is committed to joining up mental and physical healthcare, training and research to improve health outcomes for our patients and service users.