Wiltshire Council has provided mental health and resilience webinars to volunteers who have been supporting residents during COVID-19.
In March, hundreds of community groups and volunteers sprang into action alongside Wiltshire Council to immediately support their communities when stay at home restrictions were introduced.
Wiltshire Council has been in regular contact with the groups throughout this challenging time and it was felt it would be beneficial to offer training to support the volunteers’ mental health and give them the tools to look after themselves should they require it.
The first session took place this week, which is Mental Health Awareness Week, and was free to take part. It was organised and delivered by the council’s public health team.
The webinars were delivered virtually and covered a range of topics, including tips for maintaining perspective and managing expectations when volunteering in the community, how to tell when someone needs support, and useful signposting.
Cllr Laura Mayes, Cabinet Member for Public Health, said: “The volunteer groups have been a pillar of support in their local communities and we want to do anything we can to support them if they need us.
“We’re pleased the training has been warmly received and that it gave them some time to reflect on their own wellbeing. This is a tough situation for us all to deal with and we each manage in our own ways, but it’s important we keep talking to people and sharing our experiences.”
One participant said: “I found it clear, well presented and useful. It made me realise I am doing better than I thought so helped my self-esteem”
The participant then went on to say that they would be recommending it other members of their community support group, should more training opportunities be provided.
There is a range of mental health support and signposting on the Wiltshire Council website, including Every Mind Matters resources. It can be found at http://www.wiltshire.gov.uk/public-health-mental-health