Building resilient communities at a time of national crisis

The Hummingbird Project

We spoke to Leigh Carey, founder of The Hummingbird Project, about the effects of the pandemic on their communities, and how they have rallied to support their clients. The Hummingbird Project is an award-winning Social Enterprise of mental health practitioners. They provide training, mentoring and support to improve emotional health and resilience.

 

Coronavirus had a massive effect on the delivery of our services. All our services were provided face to face. Initially we stopped our group work and focussed on supporting our 1-1 clients by phone or video call. Our 1-1 clients are those who need the most intensive support and who are most at risk. Stopping the support all together during lockdown was just not an option for us.

One of the biggest challenges we have with online support is that many of our clients are in technology poverty. 10% of our clients have no online access at all and 90% are limited to pay-as-you-go data on a phone. Despite this, we have managed to continue supporting our clients. One of our clients is a nurse, and is living apart from her family to keep them safe. Her current accommodation has poor wifi signal, so we have been doing weekly socially-distanced meet-ups with her in the hospital car park during her lunch break. Another one of our clients comes from a care background, is living alone and is 25 weeks pregnant. To support her during this time we have organised twice-weekly zoom calls, online health check-ups, food and prescription deliveries, and a zoom gender-reveal party for her and several of her friends. 

COVID-19 has had a significant detrimental impact on everyone’s emotional health.  That’s why investment needs to be made in emotional health now.

COVID-19 has had a significant detrimental impact on everyone’s emotional health.  That’s why investment needs to be made in emotional health now. Employers  have a duty to support their employees, by giving them the skills and strategies to build emotional resilience during this period. 

For Mental Health Awareness week we have some tips for maintaining good mental health during the crisis:

  • Try and keep to a routine around eating, sleeping and personal hygiene. 
  • Don’t sit in the same room, or do the same thing for more than 3 hours at a time. Move around, change your surroundings - even if it is a different room in your house.
  • Stay connected to the things that make you happy - family, social groups, hobbies or learning. Find new digital ways of keeping in touch and get help from others on setting this up if you are nervous about it!

To support your employees during this period, the Hummingbird Project has converted their emotional resilience training for employees to online interactive group sessions. To find out more, and to book this training for your employees, click here.