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Hospice adapts way it works to support staff with their mental health

St Michael's Hospice - picture credited to Jonny Freeman

In a special report, we've been finding out what one local organisation's been doing in Hampshire to help break down the stigma surrounding mental health.

It's the first day of Mental Health Awareness Week, with events taking place across the country to get people talking about how they're feeling.

St Michael's Hospice in Basingstoke has been working with its patients and staff to look after their wellbeing.

CEO Iain Cameron, has told us it's become a big priority for them, especially when it comes to the hospice's employees:

"The very nature of the job is potentially traumatic - and it's very important to acknowledge the effect that the job has on our staff.

"That's something over the past six to nine months that we've really focused on here."

Iain's told us some slight but important alterations have been made:

"We've altered some basic elements like shift patterns, to make sure staff are not working long days.

"We've also increased staff's annual leave allowance, as to balance the need between work and rest is vital to make sure people work effectively and are happy."

It's not just staff where the emphasis on mental health has been placed.

Iain says a specialist Consultant Psychiatrist has been brought to help people who are terminally ill - and their families - to come to terms with what is happening:

"We're doing so much more now with pre bereavement counselling.

"It's really essential that when people enter our services, we don't leave anyone behind."

You can hear more from Iain Cameron in the video below.

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