Healthcare workers are at the front lines of the Covid-19 pandemic. Increased feelings of stress, worry and anxiety are normal under these conditions. It is important to recognize the impact of Covid-19 related stress on your mental wellbeing and build coping skills that can help you get and stay healthy. Friendship Bench can help.
If you are a healthcare worker and feel impacted by stress related to Covid-19 or the general demanding nature of your work, you can get simple, fast access to mental health and psychosocial support as well as self-care and mindfulness tools. We’re not here to give you solutions or advice but we are here to empower & support you so that you can build resilience and develop skills to overcome whatever it is you are going through.
What is Friendship Bench for HCWs?
Friendship Bench for HCWs connects you (as a health care worker) with mental health and psychosocial support in the form of a trained mental health supporter as well as referrals to specialist psychologists. Along with this personal connection you also gain access to tools which will help enhance your resilience during these stressful times so you can better manage rising mental health challenges and life demands; such as group support chats and self-care tools.
Evidence-based problem solving therapy over WhatsApp call or chat
Monday - Friday
9am to 5pm
We provide open access to self-care resources which will help you stay grounded, mindful and build resilience
- BELIEVE IN YOU -
For fast and easy access. This service is available by self-referral – if you feel you need support we trust you know yourself better than anyone & we’re here in that time of need.
A team of clinical psychologists are on call for red-flag cases to ensure appropriate care is received This remains free if referred on through the Friendship Bench HCW line
Find out more about the programme, the need, our partners and some initial learnings...
How does it work?
We offer evidence-based problem solving therapy for a maximum of 6 sessions per person over WhatsApp call or chat. Sessions are done from Monday - Friday from 9am to 5pm with a trained Friendship Bench Mental Health Supporter. First sessions last 45-60 minutes and subsequent sessions will last no longer than 45 minutes. When you connect on WhatsApp the first few messages will be automated then our team will personally respond to facilitate your booking, once we send you our Terms of Service one of our Mental Health Supporters will get in touch with you.
The Mental Health Supporter has been trained by clinicians but is not a professional. If there is a need for specialist care they will refer you to a volunteer clinical psychologist who is on call for you as a HCW.
Where to book?
All session bookings are made over WhatsApp on +263 784 845 294.
Who is this service for?
Any health care worker!
How will you ensure my confidentiality?
Friendship Bench is committed to protecting your personal health information through every aspect of our booking, assessment process, possible referrals and throughout your care. We do not need your full name and accept ‘nick-names’. To be able to provide the best possible service we ask for the following details; gender, age, the city you are based, whether you have had covid or not, has anyone close to you had covid, These questions are simply to allow us to see who, where and what exactly we can do to provide the best care and support through tracking of this limited data set.
Support & partners
Five clinical psychologists in Zimbabwe are partnering with Friendship Bench to provide the best possible support for health care workers free of charge. Through our partnership with MoHCC and OPHID we are here to make mental health accessible, affordable and applicable to you, our healthcare workers who have been at the front lines of the Covid-19 pandemic over the past 3 years- and the ongoing effects it is having.
How are you feeling today?
As HCW, we know it’s easier to recognise physical health problems over mental and emotional struggles e.g. a broken arm vs burnout.
We also find it much easier to engage in conversations about physical health and shy away from mental health challenges.