Bluebird Care Assistant Supervisor and Mental Health First Aider Stef Cooper shares how she supports others and copes with her own mental health during these stressful times.
Bluebird is all about providing optimum care for our customers but we have to make sure that our Care Assistants are looking after themselves as well, especially during times of acute stress like the pandemic. We support all our staff as well as our customers and we are grateful to supervisors like Stef who are able to draw on their own experiences to assist their colleagues.
Stef’s Own Mental Health
I struggle with my own mental health, with a long history of suffering from anxiety and depression. I have battled this for more than half of my life and manage this with my GP and with medication normally – but with the situation surrounding Covid-19, I am unable to see my GP and have to make do with telephone appointments.
I am thankful to be supported fantastically by Bluebird Care, in particular, Jady, who is making sure that I am as OK as possible and that I am coping. We have made adjustments to my working schedule to make sure that I am not left to my own devices for too long. I also manage my anxieties at home with my own coping strategies, such as; taking time for myself to relax (including reading and completing puzzle books in the evening after my son has gone to bed) and making sure that I do activities that keep my mind occupied such as cooking and singing along to my Spotify playlist! I think the main message I want to convey is that we are not all going to stay sane all the time, especially at the moment, but we all need to make sure we are taking care of ourselves before taking care of others…even if that does mean wailing along to our favourite song!
Bluebird Carers’ Mental Health
As the Care Assistant Supervisor and the Mental Health First Aider I am supporting several care assistants with their mental health at this time. The support I provide includes regular phone/video calls with Care Assistants who are struggling and conducting observations to ensure that Care Assistants feel as supported as possible.
We have had Care Assistants who have been required to shield themselves due to being high risk themselves, and I have been supporting them with regular contact through phone calls and video calls, just to give them a giggle to brighten their day a bit.