Blue Monday Care Sector Concerns: Supporting Your Staff

15th January 2024

Blue Monday, considered the most depressing day of the year, occurs this year on the 15th January 2024. Although the day can impact many industries, Blue Monday in the care sector has grown in significance. The name was coined to symbolise the third Monday of January, which is a result of these various factors:

  • Often lined up with monetary worries post-Christmas
  • Many wages are given before Christmas and must cover an ‘extra’ week
  • Dark ‘blue’ weather could trigger low moods
  • Lack of motivation to complete or continue their resolutions

Post-Covid, Blue Monday seems to be having an even larger effect in the Care Sector, with more than 68% of carers saying their mental health had declined during the pandemic. (Care England) In a sector as important as ours, it is essential to prioritise the mental health of our teams, during Blue Monday and beyond.

How can I address my teams’ Blue Monday care sector concerns?

The first step can often have the biggest impact. By encouraging and enabling an open and understanding environment, where staff can discuss how they are feeling, can truly make a visible difference. Whether it is anonymous staff feedback exercises, open discussions over lunch, or even one-to-one check ups with your staff to see how they are getting on. Inviting staff to discuss their needs and concerns allows them to feel safe and supported, meaning they will be more likely to stay within your organisation and call in sick less often.

What resources can I provide to ease my care teams’ Blue Monday?

blue monday care sector

A long term solution will truly aid your staff through Blue Monday and beyond. Have you considered providing Mental Health training to your managers and team leaders? Not only is this an excellent way to encourage meaningful and beneficial conversations within your care team, it also provides interested staff with excellent employee benefits and career progression opportunities. By providing Mental Health training through companies such as MHFA England, staff will greatly appreciate the opportunity to develop their skills and see that their employer cares for their progression. Other staff who don’t wish to take part will still benefit from a training scheme, as their colleagues will be able to offer them practical and official support without them having to leave their place of work.

If your staff do not wish to train on Mental Health, then you could perhaps consider employing a Mental Health professional, either as a one-off stint or as a regular member of your team. With the ability to work with clients and staff alike, a Mental Health professional could greatly benefit your team whilst offering a valuable service to your clients. Consider looking into a Band 5 CPN Nurse (or similar qualifications), who can be added to your staff roster during Blue Monday and beyond.

Addressing urgent mental health needs during your care teams’ Blue Monday.

Inevitably, Blue Monday (and other times of crisis) will affect some of your staff more than others. Providing mental health days to those in crisis can be a beneficial solution, as well as an advantageous recruitment and retention tool.

If you believe a staff member is showing signs of a mental health crisis during work hours, it’s essential that you step in to provide the help and support they need. Often those who need help will be hesitant to accept it, which is why early-stage assistance within your care team is greatly beneficial. Creating an environment that is safe and free from judgement is a commitment that doesn’t rely on funding. Understanding each member of staff and their coping mechanisms can not only save time, but could also save a life.

Have any further advice for tackling Blue Monday and other mental health struggles this year? We are here for our Care providers. Join in with our discussion on LinkedIn and let’s get talking this Blue Monday.