Free App to help health and social care staff manage stress

Evidence shows that many health staff are experiencing mental health problems because of the coronavirus pandemic, with 50.4% feeling depressed, 44.6% feeling anxious, 71.5% feeling distressed, and 34% suffering insomnia. Frontline staff are particularly at risk and distress is made worse when they witness patients dying and colleagues getting infected. However, staff who accessed psychological information and support services showed improved mental health.

Focus Games developed The Working Stress App. This evidence-based resource helps clinical staff understand the unique nature of stress in clinical practice and offers strategies enabling individuals to develop a self-management approach that works best for them.

In these challenging times, we believe that supporting health and social care workers’ mental health is crucial. The Working Stress App is now available for FREE to all NHS employees and Social Care professionals.

The app provides specific information about stress, grief and burnout and explores the psychological and physical impact they can have. It then presents a range of evidence-based coping strategies that clinicians can apply immediately. It is not a mindfulness or meditation tool. It targets our cognitive appraisal of stress and improves our ability to cope with it.

The app contains 3 short modules that take approx. 15 minutes to complete:

  1. Understanding Stress & Burnout
  2. Managing Stress & Burnout
  3. Dealing with Patients’ Death

A 2017 randomised controlled trial with 227 NHS doctors demonstrates that the interventions are effective. When measured after 2 weeks it had reduced:

  • Severe anxiety by 33%
  • High burnout by 9.5%
  • Severe insomnia by 60%
  • Hazardous drinking by 50%

Also available:
The Working Stress Game:
An educational board game that allows staff to reflect as a team about the causes of stress and ways to cope and manage stress more effectively.

“This game provides the opportunity to come together as a team and have fun, whilst opening up difficult conversations about stress and mental health, giving tips and tools for how to approach situations differently.”

Dr Clare Gerada, Medical Director, NHS Practitioner Health Programme.

Face-to-face training is not always possible. The online platform ZeST now allows health and social care team to play the Working Stress board game during online meetings via Zoom, Skype or Teams.

To learn more about Working Stress, visit

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