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It's okay to not be okay

02 August 2021
Volume 29 · Issue 8


Self-care could be the key to reducing burnout amongst midwives, writes Steph Bennett

The global COVID-19 crisis has inadvertently brought mental health to the forefront of the public eye. Emotional wellbeing is being talked about more openly than ever. Nevertheless, society still holds a stigma regarding mental health despite these conditions being increasingly prevalent (Mental Health Foundation, 2015). As a result, many health professionals delay asking for support, and this delay could explain health professionals having a 23% increased rate of suicide, compared to the general population (Kinman et al, 2020).

Recent movements have been spreading awareness about mental health: ‘it's okay to not be okay’; #bekind, ‘clap for carers’. Healthcare workers are starting to be acknowledged for the endless care they provide, and it's becoming more understood how underfunded and under appreciated the NHS is. Burnout has been reported at a dangerous, all-time high amongst frontline staff, seeing more nurses than ever leaving their jobs and 44% of healthcare workers feeling ill due to their mental health (Gillett and Wright, 2021). This could be as a result of lengthy shifts with little rest time in between, resulting in no work-life balance. This can impact our physical and mental health, as well as our productivity at work (Kinman et al, 2020).

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