Published Wednesday 21st October 2020

Schools across Herefordshire are being offered the chance to receive advice on supporting students and staff affected by emotional issues brought on by COVID.

St Michael’s Hospice, based in Bartestree, is hosting the free online sessions which will be made available to every secondary school in the county.

The move marks part of an expansion of services provided by St Michael’s since the lockdown began in March.

‘We are all very much aware of the strange times COVID has placed us in,’ said Karen Evans, Counselling and Bereavement Lead at St Michael’s, who is leading the sessions alongside the Hospice’s Education team.

‘Many people might be facing a wide range of emotions which can bring about new challenges for students and staff.

‘We want to be able to reach out to as many people as possible. And by sharing knowledge and skills we hope those we’re helping can, in turn, help others.’

The first session took place this week and covered grief and loss linked to COVID, and identified potential support available.

St Michael’s provides care to patients with a terminal diagnosis, and offers support to loved ones. 

It relies heavily on the generosity of the community to fund the vast majority of its £6m-plus annual care costs. 

The expansion of St Michael’s services began early in lockdown when the Hospice offered telephone support after face-to-face counselling was affected by the government restrictions. The Hospice is now in a position to offer counselling to anyone affected by COVID in the Herefordshire area. 

All Care Home managers in Herefordshire have also been able to access free clinical and psychological support. 

For more information on any of the above services, email Karen Evans at kevans@smhospicehereford.org or email education@smhospicehereford.org