Stephen Fry
Government and politics, Mental health, Work and occupational

Stephen Fry urges the government to protect NHS staff mental health and wellbeing hubs

Help protect NHS Staff Mental Health and Wellbeing Hubs by emailing your MP today.

17 May 2023

Award-winning actor, writer and mental health advocate Stephen Fry has called on the government to commit to funding and protecting the NHS staff Mental Health and Wellbeing Hubs in England, which have acted as a vital lifeline to NHS workers struggling with their mental health.

 In a video for the BPS, which has been leading the campaign in calling on the government to commit to at least one year's transitional funding for the hubs, he warns that the closure of the hubs could have a 'possibly disastrous effect' on the health service.

Launched in February 2021, in response to the trauma experienced by NHS staff during the Covid-19 pandemic, the hubs have provided NHS and social care staff with fast access to free and confidential local mental health services.

However government funding ended on 31 March 2023 and with no word from the government on future funding, hubs have been left in limbo with many forced to close, leaving staff without access to vital mental health services.

Speaking in the video, Stephen Fry commented:

"When soldiers come back from a war, we like to think we are proud enough as a nation to support them and support them through all the stresses and anxieties and mental health problems that soldiers have after fighting on the front line in a war. We must do the same with our health workers, surely."  

In February this year, the BPS warned that the government's failure to commit to funding the hubs was 'clinically dangerous', and that inaction risked placing vulnerable NHS and social care staff in psychological danger. This came after analysis of data from 11 hubs showed an average 72 per cent year on year* increase in referrals from NHS and social care staff seeking help for their own mental health.

The BPS has found up to 13 hubs have already closed, or are pending imminent closure, with many more set to close in the coming months as hub teams desperately try to identify alternative funding arrangements to secure the services' future.

We're asking BPS members, and members of the public, to write to their MP to raise their concerns and to urge the government to protect the future of the hubs.

The #FundNHSHubs campaign is supported by organisations including British Psychological Society, the Royal College of Psychiatrists, NHS Providers, the Association of Clinical Psychologists UK, the British Association for Social Workers, British Association for Counselling and Psychotherapy, Royal College of Physicians, Royal College of Nursing, and College of Paramedics.

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