What is Project5?

Last Updated 24th April 2020

Free mental wellbeing support for NHS staff and key supporters.

The global health crisis caused by the COVID-19 outbreak has stretched our NHS to its limits. Doctors, nurses and healthcare support professionals are working around the clock and beyond normal shift patterns to treat the critically ill, at an unknown cost to their physical and mental health. The mental wellbeing of our NHS is at risk. How do we support those who are helping us the most?

 A helping hand through a crisis 

Project5 is an online booking system which gives NHS staff access to free one-to-one support from a team of volunteer coaches and mental health practitioners.  So far, over 4,000 such volunteers have registered meaning that we can potentially support thousands of healthcare workers every month. 

Many NHS staff members are face serious mental health challenges such as stress and trauma as a result of treating patients with coronavirus (COVID-19) and the pressures on the NHS at this time. As well as the immediate impact of caring for patients in critical condition, and the fear of catching the virus, staff are often worried about their family’s safety and their ability to deliver the best possible care as the pandemic evolves.


Project5 works alongside our courageous and tenacious NHS mental health colleagues to offer the additional psychological support required during a sustained frontline medical crisis.

Project5 provides support for stressed staff (coaching) through to distressed staff (wellbeing support from mental health practitioners).

" I am shaking from being so tired as I didn’t sleep properly because I was over thinking in bed. I’m scared…the future is very, very uncertain"

Marie Li zcano Gome z Recovery Nurse, London,

speaking to the Mirror , April 2020

Supported professional volunteers


All volunteers for Project5 undertake a screening process to ensure only those with the correct credentials and professional registration can be added.


Project5 is founded on a strong level of governance.


An NHS worker can be reassured they are always speaking with correctly trained and vetted volunteers.


Training guidelines are provided to all volunteers to help them understand the challenges facing NHS staff.


Each professional is guided by supervisors and an experienced Clinical Psychology team which continually gathers evidence to understand what methods are working and what can be improved.

A reactive model for a sustainable future


Project5 sits alongside the NHS as a highly flexible partner that can respond quickly to the changing mental health needs of the NHS workforce.


The project is the led by Clinical Psychologist Dr Craig Newman who heads up a growing team of specialists in understanding the needs and challenges facing NHS staff.


Training materials are quickly adapted and updated to ensure volunteers working with NHS staff can rapidly meet their needs.


By constantly analysing the psychological needs of NHS staff and bringing evidence-based knowledge back into the treatment system, Project5 offers a sustainable support model ready for future unknown challenges.


While the NHS has its own mental health response plan for staff, Dr Newman believes Project5 will free up vital capacity within the national healthcare system. It enables NHS mental health teams currently deployed to help frontline colleagues to return to their patient work.

“ Whilst the job has become phy sically more demanding, emotionally it has been much much harder Lots of us have had moments of just random emotional re lease, like crying because it does take a toll on all of us."

Dr Shahzaib Ahmed Junior Doctor,

Intensive Care , Surrey, speaking to Channel 4 News , April 2020

# HighFiveOurCarers and donate to make a difference


Can we form the biggest virtual high five ever and make a real difference for NHS heroes?


Our #HighFiveOurCarers initiative is a fun and caring way to provide a donation that will help us continue to offer as much psychological support as possible to NHS staff.


Over a million NHS staff are working tirelessly to treat coronavirus patients in the UK.


With the COVID-19 crisis predicted to continue well into 2020 and beyond, a sustainable platform is needed to provide continuous wellbeing support to our NHS heroes.

Visit our Healthcare mental health fundraising campaign page for details on how you can support this wider goal.

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