Edition 6

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Mental health in the care sector: a Q&A with Lee Trueman

Mental health in the care sector: a Q&A with Lee Trueman
Meet Lee Trueman. Lee has developed a unique ethical sales and commercial management approach over the course of his career, built on personal relationships and friendships within the social care sector. He is well acquainted with managing mental health, both his own and amongst his staff. He passionately believes finding the right role for the right person, coupled with outstanding mental health support, is the key to unlocking the potential of staff members, ensuring staff retention and maximising workforce resources. We asked Lee some questions to uncover the mental health challenges facing those working in the social care sector and how we can begin to make a difference.

How would you define resilience and mental wellbeing? 

In a nutshell, wellbeing encompasses the holistic state of an individual's physical, mental, and emotional health, while resilience refers to the capacity to bounce back from adversity. Recognising the importance of the balance between the two, it's crucial to understand that whilst resistance can be beneficial, knowing when to step back is vital for preserving our well-being during challenging times. 

In your personal experience working with care providers, what are some of the specific challenges that care professionals commonly face that impact their resilience and mental wellbeing? 

Navigating the rocky road of low pay rates in caregiving is like trying to scale Maslow's Hierarchy of Needs with a backpack full of rocks: it's a serious challenge that can't be ignored. From barely making ends meet to feeling undervalued, these dedicated caregivers often find themselves wrestling with financial strain while striving to meet the emotional and physical needs of others. This can lead to burnout, a key symptom of which is feeling cynical.  

How can care professionals maintain a healthy balance between their professional demands and the responsibilities in their personal lives?  

Balancing the demands of caregiving with personal life can feel like a high-stakes juggling act. But here's the secret sauce: embrace the power of "no" with finesse. Picture it: gracefully declining extra shifts or commitments without that heavy guilt baggage. It's about setting boundaries like a champ, knowing when to hit pause for your own sanity. Sure, it sounds simple, but it's a game-changer. So, let's sprinkle a dash of self-love into that busy schedule and watch as your work-life harmony flourishes like never before! 

Are there any specific boundaries or self-care practices you would recommend? Maybe even on-the-job relaxation techniques that can be incorporated into a challenging work environment? 

As with the previous question, learning to say no and set boundaries are vital. Learn to prioritise the time you need to relax and recharge. As with these amazing safety briefings we hear before we fly off for some sun, you always need to put on your own oxygen mask before anyone else’s. The same is true for well-being: you can’t look after your clients if you are burnt out. Just say no kids!  

Working with vulnerable people that rely on care services can be emotionally challenging. How can care professionals build emotional resilience within their role? 

To cultivate emotional resilience, care professionals must first acknowledge the weight of their responsibilities and the impact this has on their emotional well-being. Implementing self-care practices, seeking support from colleagues or supervisors, and engaging in activities outside of work that bring joy are essential steps. Remember, resilience is not built overnight; it's a journey of growth and learning. Like BT, said ‘It’s good to talk’!  

Teamwork is often the key to supporting each other. Can you share any tips on enhancing collaboration within a care setting to support staff wellbeing?  

Enhancing collaboration within a care setting isn't just important; it's the lifeblood that fuels staff wellbeing and drives exceptional care delivery. Picture this: open communication acts as the secret ingredient, creating an atmosphere where team members freely exchange thoughts and ideas, propelling innovation and problem-solving. But wait, there's more! Team-building activities aren't just about fun; they're the glue that binds individuals, forging unbreakable bonds and fostering a sense of unity that can help you power through any challenge. Together, these elements form the foundation of a dynamic and supportive environment where every voice matters and every contribution counts towards delivering the highest standard of care. 

Fantastic advice Lee! And lastly, how excited are you for Care Show London?!  

I am super hyped! I already have a countdown! It’s better than Christmas! I am looking forward to seeing some amazing talks, meeting new friends, and catching up with old friends. Only five sleeps till Care Show London!   


Alongside Stella Shaw, Mark Topps, and Monica Menniti, Lee will be delivering the session ‘Mind matters: nurturing mental health for the future workforce’ in the People, Workforce & Wellbeing Theatre on Day 1, 24th April, at 11:30am. Come along to discover a range of strategies and considerations aimed at prioritising mental health in the workplace and how to create a positive and inclusive environment to help your staff thrive personally and professionally.  






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