Oxleas NHS Trust launches two new staff support networks

Oxleas NHS Foundation Trust has set up two new staff support networks, to improve staff wellbeing.  

The Mental Health Staff Network has been set up to encourage staff to be open about their mental health and create an environment for open and honest discussion around mental illness. 

The network is available for every member of staff at Oxleas, and they can discuss their own personal struggles with mental health, or care for a family member. The launch of this network coincides with #mentalhealthawarenessweek which is being recognised by the NHS for the week of 10th – 16th of May.  

Lived Experience Practitioner, Kelli Rush, who leads the network, said: “There was a real appetite for lifting the veil of secrecy around mental illness among colleagues. The idea that stress or mental health struggles are normal, understandable and not a problem for our work environment, is one the network can fully support.” 

Internation Womens Day took place earlier this year and inspired the creation of the Women’s network and has been formally announced to support gender equality across the trust.  

Founding member, Kay Abbs, said: “Not only do we provide a safe space for female-identifying and non-binary staff to raise concerns and discuss topics important to them, but we also provide a way to network with each other across Oxleas.” 

In addition to the new support networks, Oxleas has an established a range of staff support networks, such as the BAMEx (Black, Asian & Minority Ethnic Xtra) Staff Network, the Disability Network and the LGBTQ+ Network.