University of Sheffield | Doctoral Research

Collaboration

Mental health practitioners working in the NHS are subject to high levels of stress which can lead to periods of sickness absence and burnout. Recent research has shown that practitioners suffering from burnout are less effective in their work with service users. The problems associated with burnout are therefore twofold, affecting those who deliver the services and those who access them.

We’re interested in helping these workers remain resilient at work so that they can protect their wellbeing and service users can get the most out of the assistance they receive.

Together with Trainee Clinical Psychologists on the Doctorate in Clinical Psychology Course at Sheffield University, we recently carried out a research project to discern the impact of resilience training on trainee Psychological Wellbeing Practitioners (TPWPs). TPWPs are employed in NHS Improving Access to Psychological Therapy (IAPT) services to provide psychological services to clients experiencing mild to moderate depression and anxiety disorders.

Task

The project aimed to build on existing research, exploring the impact of resilience training on the TPWP’s personal and professional resilience and wellbeing, and the links with burnout, anxiety and depression.

Titled ‘The Role of Resilience in Therapist Wellbeing: Feasibility, Acceptability and Impact of a Resilience Intervention for Psychological Wellbeing Practitioner (PWP) Trainees, the research was completed in 2019.Findings showed that TPWPs expressed high levels of satisfaction with the training overall, highlighting the benefits of self-reflection and learning new skills. Resilience levels were measured as significantly higher 12 weeks after the training. Resilience was also correlated with improved wellbeing and lower levels of burnout, depression and anxiety.

These findings provide promising evidence that resilience training can support mental health staff within the NHS to develop and maintain personal resilience despite the pressures of their work.

If you would like to find out more about any of our research projects, please contact us here