I have recently started volunteering for the charity SOHAS as their values are very close to my heart. My role with them is try and get more people aware of the support they offer to people who are struggling with mental and physical illnesses. I think, given the strange and uncomfortable times we find ourselves in right now, it is so important to know what help and guidance is available. With many people going back to work in uncertain settings and others working remotely, it can be incredibly hard to cope with personal issues. As a student, I know how hard working from home and going in face-to-face can be. So, I thought a great way to tell people about the support that SOHAS offers would be through Flourish, a charity that I’ve written for before who I know shares the same values.
So, who are SOHAS?
SOHAS stands for the Sheffield Occupational Health Advisory Service. They are a charity that have been running since 1980. They originally aimed to help and support people who worked in Sheffield’s steel and coal industries. Fast forward 40 years and the majority of people they now give advice and support to have mild to moderate mental health issues, such as anxiety and stress.
How can they help?
If your work is affecting your mental or physical health SOHAS can provide you with advice about minimising and dealing with the conditions that are causing problems. As a prevention service they aim to see people quickly to provide help and support to keep them at work and avoid sickness absence in the first place. However, they also see lots of people who are already off sick from work and help them to get back to work and back to working safely.
SOHAS’s goals are to:
- Lower people’s stress at work
- Reduce people’s visits to their GPs
- Help improve people’s conditions at work
- Reduce sickness absence and reduce, too, instances of people struggling through work despite being ill (which essentially means they aim to help you cope with your mental and physical issues while remaining at work!).
Coping with your mental and physical illnesses is hard, especially amongst the backdrop of a global pandemic. It’s so useful to know there are organisations and charities out there with support to offer. If you or anyone else you know would like to get in contact with SOHAS, there are so many ways you can do that.
- Visit their website (www.sohas.co.uk) and head to the ‘ask the expert’ section
- Contact your GP or nurse and ask them to send your contact details to the SOHAS adviser available
- If you don’t have an adviser at your surgery, you can call the SOHAS office on 0114 275 5760 to make an appointment to speak to an adviser.
- You can also ask someone to ring the SOHAS office on your behalf to arrange to contact you in a way that is convenient to you, either by phone, email, Zoom or WhatsApp.
- Contact them through your Sheffield IAPT (Improving Access to Psychological Therapies) worker if you have one.
- Contact them through your Trade Union rep.
Times are really challenging right now for everyone but you’re not alone! Don’t be afraid to use the services that are available to you, they’re there for you! Pass this message on, it could be extremely useful to someone out there.
Thanks for reading. I hope you all have a great week!
Find SOHAS on Social media:
Twitter: @SOHASHealth; Facebook: www.facebook.com/Sheffield-Occupational-Health-Advisory-Service-SOHAS-2079058622306949