Today marks the beginning of Mental Health Awareness Week 2023, which runs between 15th – 21st May, with this year’s theme all around anxiety.

A recent study by the British Medical Asscoiation revealed that 6 in 10 healthcare workers experience symptoms of anxiety, making it likely that anxiety is very prevalant amongst NHS and #TeamGateshead colleagues.

Often caused by stress and burnout, anxiety can also have an impact elsewhere with 1 in 3 healthcare professionals experiencing anxiety sharing that this had led to errors and near-misses in patient care.

Accordingly, taking steps to take care of ourselves is vital – not only for us but for those we care for, too. Below we’re sharing some of the ways you might look to look after yourself in the aim of reducing feelings of anxiety.


As you scroll down this page, you’ll be able to see:

  • Upcoming events: Relevant events taking place this week (and beyond) which might help boost your mental wellbeing.
  • Self-care tips: How talking, socialising, accessing support and participation can help yourself and others.
  • Anxiety, Mood & Sleep resources: Top tips and signposting to help boost your mood, improve your sleep and tackle & manage anxiety.

Upcoming Events:

HWB Stall Hub

On-site stalls

We’re inviting colleagues to pop along and meet some of the Occupational Health and Wellbeing Team at dedicated stalls on-site this week, where we’ll be sharing a range of resources to promote Mental Health Awareness Week – as well as the services you can access to support you from your Occupational Health and Wellbeing team.

This week, we’ll be on hand to chat with you:

  • At The Park Deli (Bensham Hospital) on Tuesday 16th May between 12:00pm – 2:00pm; and
  • At The Hub (QE Hospital) on Thursday 18th May between 12:00pm – 2:00pm.

Remember, if you’re after any particular support you can also always get in touch with us via our dedicated email address, [email protected], or our Contact Us page.

Learning at Work Week

Learning at Work Week

As well as Mental Health Awareness Week, this week also marks Learning At Work Week, and we’re tying the two together to provide you with a multitude of opportunities to further your understanding around wellbeing matters – both mental and beyond. Included amongst the wellbeing focused sessions you can still register for or attend are:

  • Debt – The Good, The Bad and The Ugly: Sign-up here.
  • Savvy budgeting to make ends meet: Sign-up here.
  • Back Chat: Sign-up via ESR.
  • It’s good to talk about Mental Health: Sign-up via ESR.
  • Time to Move – How to exercise in your Workspace: Sign up via ESR
  • Resilience: detoxify and break the myth: Sign up via ESR

You can also check out the entire Learning at Work Week agenda – which is packed full of more fantatsic development opportunities, and help us spread the word by downloading the attached poster.


Anxiety webinar

Externally, the Stress Management Society are holding a live lunch and learn session focusing in on the awareness week’s main theme of anxiety, with a session titled Working Towards Wellbieng.

A must-attend for anyone who is looking to learn more about anxiety and its impact on our mental health, you can sign-up to attend the webinar which takes place between 12:00pm – 1:00pm on Wednesday 17th May via the button below.

If U Care Share

If U Care Share Sessions

In early June, we’ll be joined by If U Care Share who’ll be on-site to take us through the support they can offer anybody who has been impacted by suicide – regardless of how or when they were impacted.

Sessions will take place:

  • Monday 12th June in the Lecture Theatre on-site at the QE Hospital in Trust HQ between 09:00am – 10:00am; and
  • Tuesday 13th June in the Lecture Theatre on-site at the QE Hospital in Trust HQ between 1:00pm – 2:00pm

During the session, the local charity, who also work alongside Premier League and EFL football clubs, will explain more about the support they can provide you and the options available to you. Additionally, trained specialists will be on-hand immediately following the session for anyone seeking confidential 1:1 support.

Mental Health Support in Gateshead

Our friends at Making Every Contact Count across Gateshead have updated their local support guide for mental health support. Find signposting to

Self-Care tips:


Work, relationships, pressures, life events or otherwise. Whatever the cause of your anxieties simply being able to communicate about your experiences and feelings can often be helpful.

Here at Gateshead Health we have a fantastically supportive occupational health and wellbeing team, within which we have expert listening services including our Counselling service – which all colleagues a free to self-refer to.  Also available is completely confidential support from NENC ICS Staff Wellbeing Hub‘s range of talking therapy offers, while we also work closely alongside the likes of Gateshead Talking Therapies to promote their services.

Of course, sometimes a listening ear is all that is needed and that may be something more straightforward. Gateshead Health is home to dozens of trained Mental Health First Aiders, there to provide someone to chat to and who can provide supportive signposting based on the challenges you’re experiencing.

And elsewhere, Schwartz Rounds provide a fantastic opportunity to connect with fellow colleagues over some of the shared experiences and challenges we often face in the healthcare environment – or simply more about the roles each of us operate in. When surveyed, more than 95% attendees of rounds at Gateshead shared that they felt the group discussion within a Round was helpful to them, while 98% said they’d recommend attending a Round to a colleague.


When experiencing feelings of anxiety many of us might want to lock ourselves away and hide from the world. Like talking, it can often be easier said than done, but getting out there and investing time in yourself can be a fantastic way to boost mental wellbeing and reduce anxiety.

Here at Gateshead we have a range of dedicated support groups for colleagues experiencing challenges which may introduce anxiety. Amongst these is our Menopause Warriors support group, who meet monthly and also maintain a buddy system for a more personal approach to support. Elsewhere, our Carer’s Circle benefits from the involvement of former care sector workers and current counsellors – providing another supportive, safe and understanding space to discuss challenges.

Gateshead is also home to regular social clubs. Amongst these include a sewing group, a singing group, a knitting and crochet club and an outdoor activity and wellbeing group; all of which more can be found out about here.

Our Staff Networks are another fantastic source of support for colleagues at Gateshead, with our GEM, D-Ability, LGBT+ and Women’s Networks all meeting regularly, helping drive equity for all and providing individual support where possible.

And speaking of investing in yourself, all colleagues can access free salon treatments on-site at the QE Hospital, Bensham Hospital and Blaydon UTC on any Friday during term-time. Whether it’s a manicure, pedicure or head massage you’re after, why not spend 30 minutes being pampered and switch off from work at work?

Access help:

One of our key focus areas for 2023 is financial wellbeing. With the ongoing cost of living crisis only serving to increase the financial pressure on many of us, we launched the #GHMoneyMatters campaign – aimed at not only supporting those in hardship but at providing #SomethingForEveryone, no matter your financial situation, plans or concerns.

Kicking the campaign off was the launch of the #GHMoneyMatters Guide to Financial Wellbeing, a resource which collates pretty much all of the financial wellbeing support available to you. We fully recommend downloading a copy of the guide and seeing what savings, discounts, freebies, advice and more that you might be missing out on.

Elsewhere, we recently launched the #TeamGateshead Item Bank, providing colleagues in financial hardship with access to an on-site bank of non-perishable foods and toiletries.

And those seeking advice of any kind – financial or otherwise, would do well to lean on our partnership with Citizens Advice Gateshead. Hosting weekly drop-ins at Gateshead Health sites and offering a priority support line and email address for those who can’t pop in, Citizens Advice Gateshead can help you with any queries within one working day. Advisors are even holding regular seminars for staff on-site focusing on topics such as debt and budgeting – helping you get to grips with your finances.


While we’ve mentioned just some of the ways you might look to help your anxiety, we’re also asking you to take a minute to think about how you tend to tackle those anxious feelings and thoughts – and to share those to the benefit of others.

To that end, we’re also taking part in the #ToHelpMyAnxiety campaign – encouraging colleagues to share some of the steps they take to tackle anxiety in the hope that sharing can help others in managing and overcoming anxiety. Just comment on our post in the Staff Facebook Group or tag us on Twitter, @HWBGateshead!


Internal Mental Health Support

You can also learn more about the internal support available to you here at Gateshead Health by visiting our Internal Mental Health Support page.


Dealing with Anxiety

As anxiety often results from stress and burnout, it can be advisable to consider seeking professional help. It’s up to you how this may look like but we advise keeping an open mind – whether it be a chat with a doctor, leaning on counselling services or joining targeted support groups like those offered through the NENC ICS Staff Wellbeing Hub team, or even less formal support like that offered through Andy’s Man Club.

That being said, managing anxiety isn’t the same as tackling it, and to that end you might want to consider leaning on some of the free resources available to you as an NHS colleague. Amongst these include popular platforms such as Headspace and Unmind, but its well worth checking out all of those we signpost to on our dedicated apps and podcasts page.

Another offer that might help you manage feelings of anxiety is the free wellbeing diary offer from the Staff Wellbeing Hub team, helping you record your feelings, identify patterns and triggers and work to try manage, reduce, limit or eliminate these.

Home Workout Exercise

Boosting your mood

Keeping active is a basic but incredibly effective way to help boost your mood. Whether it’s a case of zoning in by yourself in the gym and feeling the benefit after a solid workout or doing something more social – like joining our new walking club, taking part in a team sport or participating in an Outdoors Activity Group session.

And on that note, being social might sound like one of the last things you want to do when you’re feeling low – but oftentime we come away from doing something social feeling far better – whether because it’s taken our minds off other things, because we’ve had the chance to chat through what is on our minds or simply because you’ve had a laugh with friends.

At Gateshead, we have a range of social groups including a singing group, sewing group, knitting and crocheting group and much more. We also host targeted support groups such as the Menopause Warriors and Carer’s Circle, our staff networks and much more. There are plenty of chances to make new friends and socialise!

Sleep Insomnia

Improving your sleep

Routine is often key when it comes to sleep – but other simple tips like not checking your phone before bed can also help boost your sleep. That being said, your phone can be a help in some instances too – but only if using the kind of support apps we promote on our dedicated page.

Ensuring your room is dark, quiet and cool is key to creating a relaxing sleeping environment, while limiting intake of caffiene, nicotine and alcohol is also helpful. Those looking to cut down on either can check out our support pages for help to stop smoking or reduce drinking.

For those looking for more practical and professional support, you might want to consider requesting support from our colleagues at the Staff Wellbeing Hub, who often hold group CBTi interventions for those struggling with sleep.