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COVID-19: is enough being done to support nurses’ mental health?

As pressures mount in the second wave of the pandemic, many healthcare staff are already exhausted

As pressures mount in the second wave of the pandemic, many healthcare staff are already exhausted

As COVID-19 infections and hospital admissions rise, concerns have been expressed about the impact this will have on the mental health of nurses who are already psychologically exhausted.

Nursing Standard readers have their say.

Liz Charalambous is a teaching associate at the University of Nottingham @lizcharalambou

Liz_Charalambous

No. Although the generous donations of food and practical support from the public and charities in the early phase of the pandemic were appreciated, some trusts are now reporting the removal of wobble rooms, rest facilities and refreshments. While MPs are set to receive a 3,300 pay

As pressures mount in the second wave of the pandemic, many healthcare staff are already exhausted

Picture: iStock

As COVID-19 infections and hospital admissions rise, concerns have been expressed about the impact this will have on the mental health of nurses who are already psychologically exhausted.

Nursing Standard readers have their say.


Liz Charalambous is a teaching associate at the University of Nottingham
@lizcharalambou

Liz_Charalambous

No. Although the generous donations of food and practical support from the public and charities in the early phase of the pandemic were appreciated, some trusts are now reporting the removal of ‘wobble rooms’, rest facilities and refreshments. While MPs are set to receive a £3,300 pay rise, taking their annual salary to more than £85,000, nurses’ salaries are declining in real terms. Gratitude is appreciated, but adequate remuneration and good working conditions would go a long way to supporting nurses’ mental health.


Grant Byrne is a fourth-year nursing student in Edinburgh
@GGByrne

Grant Byrne

Nurses were already at breaking point before COVID-19 hit, with the combined pressures of rising demand, record vacancies and wage stagnation all affecting morale. Add a global pandemic to that toxic mix and it is little wonder many staff are feeling low. Lockdown restrictions have left many nurses cut off from the support of friends and family, while caring for patients under the threat of a killer virus. Governments and employers across the UK must do more if we are to maintain the mental health of the nursing workforce.


Rachel Kent is a mental health nurse in London

Rachel Kent

I do not want to rely on government or trust interventions that may or may not arrive, and that may or may not be what healthcare staff actually need. The surest way to support our mental health is everyone doing their bit for themselves and their colleagues – the small acts of kindness in addition to the bigger gestures that might come from an employer. This is within our power and surely, knowing the impact it can have, is the best course of action to support our collective mental well-being.


Stacie May is a third-year nursing student in Plymouth
@14StaciePUNC

Stacie May

The main issue for me and other nursing students is the uncertainty around all aspects of our degrees, and the effect this has on our mental health when we are only at the start of our nursing careers. I get a lot of support from my university, and the trust I work for also provides support for staff, including virtual cafes. Mental health support needs to be available to everyone; the challenge is finding the resources and avenues to offer this support in an open and non-judgemental way.


Readers’ panel members give their views in a personal capacity only


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