NHS staff and care workers are being offered free bespoke hypnotherapy sessions to support their mental health during the Covid-19 crisis.

Popular wellbeing app Clementine has curated a special ‘Care Worker Support’ service to help frontline workers manage their anxieties and shake off the emotional and physical stress of their working day and high-pressured environment.

Available to listen to at any time for free on the Clementine app or on YouTube, the bitesize hypnotherapy sessions were developed in direct response to research and conversations with Intensive Care Unit staff.

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Kim Palmer, CEO of Clementine said:

“Our hypnotherapists held interviews with ICU nurses who spoke very honestly about the intense environment on the wards; the restriction of movement as soon as they put on their PPE gear, meaning they are not free to go to the toilet, get fresh air or to get a drink of water; the intense sweating, discomfort and bruising they get from wearing PPE; the panic and mix of emotions they have dealing with the sickest of patients; an inability to switch-off when they finally return home; problems sleeping and indeed an anxiety about returning to work.

I believe we have a duty of care to our NHS, care workers and frontline staff and I wanted Clementine to pass on the tool of hypnotherapy and provide something useful, which could actually make a difference. Hearing their experiences first-hand enabled us to create hypnotherapy sessions, especially for them, in reaction to this unprecedented trauma unlike anything experienced before in our lifetime. Our bespoke sessions offer the only specifically tailored experience for health workers at the end of their finger-tips.”

The ‘Care Worker Support’ sessions were written by world-leading hypnotherapist Hazel Gale for the Clementine app.

Hazel, a published author, master practitioner of cognitive hypnotherapy and neuro-linguistic programming said:

“Listening to the ICU nurses enabled us to understand which parts of the shift health workers could benefit from Clementine’s support the most and where we could be of use to give them the boost they need; therefore we made a service of three parts, giving users the opportunity to find the right session for them, depending on what stage of their shift they are at.

The first session Start the Shift Strong aims to empower listeners as they get ready for work, or as they are perhaps travelling on their commute. It is there to help manage worries or anxieties health workers may have before their shift starts. The second session, Five minutes to a Better Break is a flexible short listen, encouraging users to regroup, refresh, create space and take a moment just for them, to get the most out of the limited relaxation time they have on shift. Finally part three, Shake off the Shift, helps listeners to wind down from work, to clear their minds, to choose how they want to feel and connect to their home around them, encouraging relaxation and better sleep.”

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ICU nurses at a London Hospital spoke to Clementine about how work life has changed on the ward since coronavirus and the toll it is taking on her physical and mental health:

“We all panic a little when something happens, even if you have been there for years. Then you can’t breathe with this mask. Then you think, I need to get out, but you can’t get out. 

“Once you are in you are in, it is quite intense, freedom of movement has gone.”

HeraldScotland: Kim Palmer, CEO of ClementineKim Palmer, CEO of Clementine

“The mask is awful, it just makes you feel panicky.”

“I would never complain about the workload because this is our job and this is what we have to do. But then doing this with all of this on, you can’t even think properly.”

“Every single day I have to stand outside the hospital for 10 seconds and be like we’ve got this, it’s ok let’s do this. On the way home you’re like what the hell is going on. At the end of the day it’s very difficult to switch off.” 

“You see the sickest of the sickest and you have good days when you see patients get well and they might come visit you and you don’t even recognise them because they have changed so much. Then you have the bad part of the job when they are actually not surviving. And we see a lot of this just now.”

“The day before night shift is the worst. That’s the day I really struggle to enjoy the day off and rest.”

For more information on the Care Worker Support sessions or Clementine App please visit clementineapp.co.uk or download the app at the App Store.

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