Vol. 13 No. 3 (2020): Colour & Colonialism - Facing the Shadows of the Past

On Nurses, Mental Health & Caring for the Carers

Pardina Samson-Fessale
Chelsea & Westminster Hospital, London, UK
portrait of author

Published 2020-07-01


  • COVID-19,
  • Nurses,
  • Healthcare Professionals,
  • Mental health

How to Cite

Samson-Fessale, P. (2020). On Nurses, Mental Health & Caring for the Carers. Sushruta Journal of Health Policy & Opinion, 13(3). https://doi.org/10.38192/13.3.3


Reads/ Downloads 403

The COVID-19 pandemic has stretched the resources of healthcare systems across the world, as professionals work to treat the public with the scant evidence available. This has resulted in the loss of many essential workers' lives, with the loss of over 119 healthcare workers' lives in the UK as of April of this year. Adding the loss of colleagues to the many difficulties associated with working in healthcare, and the increased risk to their lives and the lives of their loved ones will undoubtedly compound the burnout already felt by nurses on a daily basis The author uses her own personal experiences to explore the themes brought up in current research, as well as looking at suggestions of how to support nurses and allied health professionals both in the immediacy and in the long term.


  1. Cook T, Kursumovic E, Lennane S. Exclusive: deaths of NHS staff from covid-19 analysed. HSJ. 2020; 22. https://www.hsj.co.uk/exclusive-deaths-of-nhs-staff-from-covid-19-analysed/7027471.article (accessed 26 June 2020)
  2. Walton M, Murray E, Christian MD. Mental health care for medical staff and affiliated healthcare workers during the COVID-19 pandemic. EHJ: Acute Cardiovascular Care. 2020. https://doi.org/10.1177/2048872620922795
  3. Spoorthy MS. Mental health problems faced by healthcare workers due to the COVID-19 pandemic- a review. Asian J Psychiatry. 2020. https://doi.org/10.1016/j.ajp.2020.102119
  4. Bohlken J, Schömig F, Lemke MR, Pumberger M, Riedel-Heller SG. COVID-19 Pandemic: Stress Experience of Healthcare Workers - A Short Current Review. Psychiatrische Praxis. 2020; 47(4). Psychiatric Practice 2020; 47 (04): 190-197 DOI: 10.1055 /a-1159-5551
  5. Haynes L. Pandemic will trigger significant mental health impact on NHS staff, warns deputy CMO. [Online] 2020 [cited 2020 May 28. Available from: https://www.gponline.com/pandemic-will-trigger-significant-mental-health-impact-nhs-staff-warns-deputy-cmo/article/1682414
  6. Office for National Statistics. Suicide deaths among nurses aged 20 to 64 years, deaths registered in England and Wales between 2011 and 2017. ; 2020. https://www.ons.gov.uk/peoplepopulationandcommunity/birthsdeathsandmarriages/deaths/adhocs/009209suicidedeathsamongnursesaged20to64yearsdeathsregisteredinenglandandwalesbetween2011and2017
  7. NHS Health Education England. NHS Staff and Learners' Wellbeing Commission. ; 2019. https://www.hee.nhs.uk/sites/default/files/documents/NHS%20%28HEE%29%20-%20Mental%20Wellbeing%20Commission%20Report.pdf
  8. Mitchell G. Figures spark call for inquiry into ‘alarming’ levels of nurse suicide. [Online].; 2019 [cited 2020 May 28. Available from: https://www.nursingtimes.net/news/workforce/figures-spark-call-for-inquiry-into-alarming-levels-of-nurse-suicide-29-04-2019/.
  9. Royal College of Nurses. Counselling Service. [Online]. [cited 2020 May 28. Available from: https://www.rcn.org.uk/get-help/member-support-services/counselling-service.
  10. Greenberg N, Docherty M, Gnanapragsam S, Wessely S. Managing mental health challenges faced by healthcare workers during covid-19 pandemic. BMJ 2020;368
  11. doi: https://doi.org/10.1136/bmj.m1211
  12. The British Psychological Society. The psychological needs of healthcare staff as a result of the Coronavirus pandemic. [Online].; 2020 [cited 2020 May 28. Available from: https://www.bps.org.uk/news-and-policy/psychological-needs-healthcare-staff-result-coronavirus-pandemic.
  13. Open Science Framework. Live meta-analysis: Mental Health of Clinical Staff Working in High Exposure Compared to Low Exposure Roles in High-Risk Epidemic and Pandemic Health Emergencies (last updated 2020.05.12). [Online].; 2020 [cited 2020 May. Available from: https://osf.io/yrbvz/