The charity is running the ‘There’s No Mask for Mental Health’ campaign to raise awareness.
The UK’s only charity offering dedicated mental health support for healthcare workers has warned of a looming crisis on the front line of the fight against COVID-19.
The Laura Hyde Foundation says it has been inundated with calls from nurses, doctors, paramedics and other frontline emergency service workers since the early days of the coronavirus pandemic.
Compared to the same period in 2019, they have experienced an 88% increase in requests for help that require an acute, clinical response – meaning staff are not only experiencing increased rates of stress or anxiety, but they are presenting with serious mental health conditions such as post-traumatic stress disorder.
Working tirelessly to destigmatise the mental health challenges faced by ‘heroes’, the charity has provided a stark reminder that for thousands of healthcare workers life won’t simply go back to normal once the lockdown lifts.
The charity is now calling for a consistent level of mental health provision for workers, echoing calls from the NHS Clinical Leaders Network (CLN) who say COVID-19 will leave “a mental health legacy in its wake”.
No mask for mental health.
“Healthcare staff everywhere have been really touched by all the love they’ve been getting from the public, but the label ‘hero’ can, at times, put them under even greater pressure. The harsh reality of their work is having a significant impact on mental health – and we must make it ok for medical professionals not to suffer in silence; to prescribe for themselves what they would prescribe for others and ask for help,” says Jennifer Hawkins, clinical lead at The Laura Hyde Foundation.
“Ideally, The Laura Hyde Foundation wouldn’t have to exist,” says charity trustee, Imogen Landers.
“Unfortunately, there is no PPE for the mind – and there are NHS and frontline workers whose Trusts simply cannot provide adequately for them. Until they do, and the stigma surrounding mental health is removed, we’ll be there.”
Before adding; “that’s why we’re calling on the Government to ensure every NHS Trust in the country can deliver acute mental health care at the point of need. Our frontline workers are giving it everything, so should we.”
You can donate to the Laura Hyde Foundation.