As part of our staff care programme, we commissioned Clare Walters of Absolute Specialists Ltd to deliver mindfulness sessions across our 3 CCGs.
We were keen to test the value and benefits of two approaches – group sessions and one-to-one sessions.
The approaches were very different and taught us that we need to market them appropriately. Both were well received by the majority of people and delivered good results.
The mindfulness group session is useful for demonstrating techniques. Some of the exercises can elicit emotional responses and Clare managed these well, offering support after the session when needed.
We purchased a block of one to one sessions (x 20) which we could draw down when required. These were offered as a resource to teams and line managers to supplement other staff care options and fit in with our mental wellbeing awareness campaign. We have since purchased additional sessions on an individual basis. They have proved valuable to people who need a ‘deeper dive’ and dedicated safe space facilitated by Clare. We have learned that we need to market and target this offer appropriately so that people know a little bit more about what to expect and whether it is the right option for them. One or two people did not wish to pursue the offer beyond a first session because it felt too in-depth.
The sessions have had a significant impact for some, helping to deal with issues that have gone unresolved for many years.
“For years and years I have been putting myself under this pressure… It helped having someone else give me permission to feel the way I do. I have been doing the morning mind dump, it has made me see a change in the way I think.”
“Clare has brought those ‘light bulb’ moments out in me which I have held onto since childhood… I went into the sessions not really knowing what to expect, whether we would talk just about work or delve into more personal issues. Having received other therapies in the past, I can confidently say that Clare is far more tuned into what I need.”
Benefits are both personal and professional and we are intending to commission more individual sessions which we will make available via line managers to support team members with mental wellbeing. We regard Clare as an expert in her field and have been pleased to test her approach. The only change we intend to make is around our marketing and description of the offer.