The overarching aim of the BALM project is to develop, deliver and evaluate a gender-sensitised Behavioural Activation (BA) programme as an early intervention for low mood and anxiety in male frontline NHS workers.
Frontline healthcare workers are exposed to many different workplace stressors that can lead to mental ill health. Anxiety, stress, and depression are the primary reasons for NHS staff sickness absences. Other common mental health challenges also include feeling sad, overwhelmed, irritated and angry. Male frontline workers in particular are often reluctant to acknowledge or seek help for mental health concerns even though they are more likely to suffer from such issues. There are currently no mental health interventions tailored to men working in the NHS.
Our target population are men working in the NHS without a formal mental health diagnosis. The study will not only focus on clinicians, but also on men working in diverse roles such as estates and maintenance. The aim of BALM is to intervene early in this at-risk target group, preventing the development of mental ill health, through Behavioural Activation (BA). We will evaluate the intervention, measuring mood, anxiety and usefulness using both questionnaires and interview.
Behavioural Activation (BA) is an effective treatment that can be used as an early gender-sensitised intervention for low mood and anxiety. We will use a self-help intervention booklet, based on BA principles. BALM 'Coaches' will be trained to guide participants through the booklet.