So… this will be a short blog for me today as I am working to get two new papers published so that I can do equally exciting, but different things next week 😀
I just wanted to sketch some quick thoughts down here about #InternationalNursesDay and
#MentalHealthAwarenessWeek, as these events both fall within the same week and indeed #MentalHealthAwarenessMonth. #MHAW15 celebrates self care and mindfulness this year, both extremely valuable tools (IMHO) to maintain ones own well being. The awareness week also brings our attention to the eternal war on stigma, which again IMHO is the biggest killer of all. This year was indeed an amazing #MentalHealthAwarenessMonth and I very much enjoyed reading and seeing the buzzing communities becoming involved on twitter.
Equally, #InternationalNursesDay was celebrated with vigor, yet I saw this event in a different light.
#MHAW15 saw those with mental ill health explain to the world how it feels to manage their mental health every day. They implore the world to take notice of their needs and recognise mental ill health as being equal to physical health. They draw upon the importance of mental health awareness and the need for action. They are fighting for their rights and more. It was inspiring to see 😀
However, those celebrating #InternationalNursesDay seemed to share a different message. The main campaign which took my attention was the hashtag #whyInurse. This involved nurses from all over celebrating their work, acknowledging their privileged position and providing examples of the pride they share in nursing. It was really quite jovial. They were celebrating what they wanted to give, rather than anything they wanted to take for themselves.
This is seemingly a consistent pattern for health care professionals….they give all that they have….
Do they ever have time to look after themselves? Allow self care? practice mindfulness?
Many nurses celebrating their profession also celebrated #MentalHealthAwarenessWeek…Do they practice what they preach?
Although there is much to celebrate, I worry that health care professionals are placing themselves upon high ground. Through my research and the statistics I am seeing, I know that there are many health professionals who may be suffering in psychological distress. When these celebrations shout to the world that nurses are ‘having a ball’, it may make it that much harder for those in pain to speak out.
It may even make people think that health care professionals are much too happy in their jobs to be in psychological distress.
As it is #MentalHealthAwarenessWeek… I want to raise awareness about the healthcare professionals in psychological distress. They are dealing with horizontal violence, emotional and moral traumas, traumatic incidents, stigma, compassion fatigue and much more.
Remember that 1 in 4 people in the UK will experience a mental health problem each year. This figure also applies to health care professionals working within the NHS and all over the world.
I would like to bring #InternationalNursesDay and #MentalHealthAwarenessWeek together, so that healthcare professionals can become aware about their own mental health needs and the needs of their colleagues.
These are only my personal views. There is never any offence intended. Please see the support page of this blog if you have been affected by any of the content within this blog.
Thank you for reading 🙂