The global nursing initiative, Nursing Now, has formerly given its support to the Nursing Times Covid-19: Are You OK? campaign.
Nursing Now signed up to support the campaign at the same time as highlighting World Mental Health Day, after being one of an initial group of organisations recently contacted by Nursing Times.
The initiative, launched in 2018 in the presence of the Duchess of Cambridge, is a global campaign to improve health by raising the status and profile of nursing.
There are currently thought to be 587 Nursing Now groups active in 117 countries, with new groups registering and launching every month.
Nursing Now is a programme of the Burdett Trust for Nursing run in collaboration with the World Health Organization and the International Council of Nurses.
Nursing Times launched the Covid-19: Are You OK? campaign in April to first raise awareness of the mental health pressures and wellbeing needs of nurses during and after the coronavirus pandemic.
We have now launched the second phase of the campaign, which partly involves calling on relevant organisations, including charities, unions and other representative bodies, to support its aims.
“This pandemic has affected the wellbeing of everyone in different ways, but the effects of stress are a common thread”
Secondly, we are also actively asking employers from the health and care sector to back the aims of the campaign and make a public pledge to do so.
As a result, we aim to contact the majority of NHS acute, specialist, community and mental health providers in the coming weeks to see if they will sign the campaign pledge.
In signing up to support the campaign, employers are pledging to provide easily accessible formal mental health and wellbeing support to staff for as long as it is needed.
They are also agreeing to foster a culture of mutual support, in which staff are alert to the possibility that colleagues may be experiencing problems as a result of their work during the pandemic.
In addition, they are pledging to ensure staff experiencing problems know they will receive a positive, supportive response by disclosing them and that it will not be viewed as a sign of weakness.
Thank you very much to Nursing Now for leading the way by being one of the first organisations to publicly support Covid-19: Are You OK?.
Dr Barbara Stilwell, executive director of Nursing Now, said: “This pandemic has affected the wellbeing of everyone in different ways, but the effects of stress are a common thread for all of us.”
Dr Stilwell has also written an exclusive opinion piece for Nursing Times to Mark World Mental Health Day on 10 October, in which she cites three ideas that “might make a critical difference”.
A Nursing Times survey of 3,500 nurses undertaken for the campaign’s launch found that 33% of respondents rated their overall mental health and wellbeing as “bad” or “very bad” and 50% described themselves as “a lot” more anxious or stressed since the pandemic.
The mental health of clinicians during the pandemic has also been the subject of reports and surveys involving the King’s Fund, the Laura Hyde Foundation, the British Medical Association and others.