Abta LifeLine has launched new mental health support, as the charity’s chief warned of a growing reliance on its services with travel firms looking to restructure post-coronavirus.
Director Trudie Clements said after seeing a surge in applications in March, things had "calmed" after the government’s furlough scheme began.
However, since then, a number of travel firms have announced plans to reshape their businesses with staff redundancies and Clements said she believed LifeLine was seeing “the calm before the storm”.
“We’re already starting to see people coming to us for support as it looks likely the industry is going to experience restructuring and reshaping and those threats to jobs are going to cause many people a lot of anxiety and struggles,” she told TTG.
“I think that [the number of applications] is only going to increase in the coming weeks and months as we move through this situation.”
LifeLine has now added enhanced mental health support to its services through a new partnership with the Centre for Crisis Psychology (CCP).
Clements said CCP had extensive experience of working in the travel industry – after helping travel professionals caught up in terror attacks – as well as providing private and confidential counselling for a range of mental health issues.
Those in need of support are encouraged to apply via an online form, found HERE.
Clements said “a good 90%” of LifeLine applicants described themselves as having issues with their mental health and the CCP service would enable “24/7 help”.
“We know some Abta-member companies don’t always have the resources to provide employees with something like that so this way there will always be someone on the end of the phone."
The mental health support strengthens LifeLine’s range of tools, with the charity already offering financial advice through Citizens Advice Manchester.
Having been forced to cancel a raft of fundraising events this year, Clements said LifeLine’s annual dinner had been rescheduled to 23 September 2021.
The charity is also running a campaign asking those who can, to donate the cost of their usual commute or lunch while they work from home. More information can be found HERE.
“Our most important message right now is just to tell those who are struggling that we’re here to help,” Clements added. “Everyone is juggling so much at the moment and those who were already facing difficulties [before lockdown], things have got even harder.”