6 April 2021
The Government has published its plan to prevent, mitigate and respond to the mental health impacts of the Covid-19 pandemic during 2021–2022.
The Covid-19 mental health and wellbeing recovery action plan aims to prevent people from becoming unwell. It sets out a cross-government, whole-person approach to promoting positive mental health and supporting people living with mental illness to recover and live well.
The plan outlines what the Government will do in the coming year, as well as calling to action the whole of society, local communities, families and individuals, who it says “can take simple steps to look after their own wellbeing and the wellbeing of those around them; and can reach out for support, including from mental health services when necessary”.
The plan says that NHS England and NHS Improvement remain fully committed to delivering the commitments set out in the Mental Health Implementation Plan by 2023–2024, and are taking steps to ensure these plans remain responsive to pressures expected to emerge in the coming months and years.
The Government will continue to review the support already in place for the NHS workforce, and has reserved £10 million of the £500 million announced for mental health recovery to adapt and evolve it where needed. It will be delivered primarily by employers and within local systems, in line with the specific commitments contained within the NHS People Plan, such as the implementation of the Wellbeing Guardian role and health and wellbeing conversations for all NHS staff.
The Government, the NHS, and Skills for Care and others have worked to provide a package of emotional, psychological and practical resources for the social care workforce, including free access to confidential helplines, wellbeing guidance, bereavement resources, and a package of bespoke support for registered managers, which includes an advice line and local support networks.
The Chief Nurse for Adult Social Care will collaborate closely with the Chief Social Workers to ensure that the wellbeing of the adult social care workforce is a priority alongside NHS colleagues and that the support available is seen as a positive step to recovery.
Covid-19: Mental Health and Wellbeing Recovery Action Plan is available here.
The majority of the action plan applies to England only, but mental health is a UK-wide priority. More information on the respective mental health responses to the pandemic in Wales are here, Scotland here and Northern Ireland here.