Over half of nurses admit to having an unhealthy work-life balance.
A study has highlighted a mental health crisis amongst UK emergency services staff, particularly nurses on the frontline.
The 18-month study tracked the mental health of over 10,000 frontline workers throughout the pandemic and hs highlighted the extent to which the demands of the COVID-19 pandemic have taken their toll on the mental health of an already highly-pressurised sector.
87%’s study, The State of Mental Wellbeing on the Frontline, reveals that nurses are more likely to experience poor work-life balance than the sector average.
The study reveals that over half (57%) of registered nurses are putting the demands of their work above their own wellbeing needs, creating a chronic work-life imbalance that leads to high levels of stress and negatively impacts performance.
Challenges are still unaddressed.
This lack of balance also affects physical health, with almost two thirds (63%) of emergency workers saying that their job prevents them from being physically fit and active, while 40% report that their job often makes them feel ill.
Commenting on the findings, Professor Dame Clare Gerada MBE, Medical Director of Practitioner Health and former Chair of the Royal College of General Practitioners, has called for urgent action following the publication of the report.
She said; “Within the NHS workforce, many report feeling defeated by work and these challenges are still unaddressed.
“Now is the time to normalise rather than catastrophise this sector’s distress, and reduce the burden of mental illness on those who care for us. Every member of this workforce should be given support and we must make easy access to services a priority.
“This report is timely and adds to the evidence that a real and genuine focus on the mental health and wellbeing of this sector will have a positive impact for the national health service.”
87% says a “proactive approach” is needed to ensure staff can maintain a healthy work-life balance.
Clinical Director, Dr Serra Pitts, an Associate Fellow of the British Psychological Society, adds, “There is no one-size-fits-all approach to mental health, but employers can significantly improve the wellbeing of the frontline sector by having proactive policies that help to maintain work-life balance, access to wellbeing resources and expert-delivered training to equip leadership with the skills to understand the wellbeing challenges of their workforce.
“Crucially, technology can play a part in accurately measuring the mental fitness of workers and driving insights on the most effective wellbeing strategies for organisations.
“Tailored to their employees’ needs, these can significantly reduce the risk of mental health difficulties and help organisations thrive.”