Mental health related sickness absence is the biggest cause of nurses being absent from work
because of illness/ill health in England, Scotland and Wales and the second biggest cause in
Northern Ireland. C3’s nursing programme aims to develop strategies to promote the wellbeing of the nursing workforce. Our ongoing work to address the healthy weight of nurses has led to the significant consideration and analysis of nurses’ mental wellbeing.
In 2020 commentary describing concerns about nurses’ mental health and wellbeing had reached a crescendo. A review of the literature describing the poor mental health and wellbeing of the nursing workforce was conducted by the Society of Occupational Medicine in 2020 – The Mental Health and Wellbeing of Nurses and Midwives in the United Kingdom. The breadth of literature reviewed highlights the significant work that has been undertaken to identify that nurses’ mental health is a real issue. However, in contrast, not enough has been done to actually address the issue. The Covid-19 pandemic has illustrated once again the dangers of continuing to ignore staff wellbeing.
Why has mental health not been addressed and how can we make progress moving forward?
To answer this question, C3 analysed the policy landscape through 15 semi-structured interviews with key thought leaders that explored the barriers to supporting nurses’ mental health, and how evidence-based recommendations may be implemented.