Civil servants offered counselling for no-deal Brexit stress
British civil servants were offered specialised support to deal with the strain of preparing for a no-deal Brexit, the BBC has learned.
The Department for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs (Defra) spent £40,000 on counselling services in London, York and Bristol.
The surgeries were primarily for those working on “emergency preparedness in case of a no deal scenario”.
The government said the well-being of its staff was “always a priority”.
The three-month contract, which was awarded to Gloucester-based employee assistance firm Care First, was brought to the BBC’s attention by the data firm Tussell.
It was designed to bolster Defra’s in-house mental health services while the department made changes to its support programmes, and ended on 31 January.
A Defra spokesperson told the BBC that the department was committed to the mental health, safety and well-being of its employees, and had “a range of services on offer to support staff’s mental health”.
A spokeswoman for the Charity for Civil Servants, which has been offering a “Brexit well-being kit” to government employees, told the BBC that it was responding to “the impact that current pressures are having on the mental health and well-being of civil servants”.