The stigma and confidentiality issues surrounding nurses and mental health problems
Australia needs to address the stigma and confidentiality issues surrounding nurses that suffer from mental health problems. This is what the newly appointed University of NSW workplace health researcher Dr Sam Harvey has pointed out. He is going to be based at UNSW’s School of Psychology and the affiliated Black Dog Institute and is the first dedicated workplace mental health research post at an Australian University.
Dr Harvey is an expert in mental health issues faced by nurses and medical staff. he was trained in Adelaide and has returned after a decade in the UK, where he established clinics at two major London Hospitals to treat medical staff suffering mental health problems. He also said that often the mundane aspect of the job which caused the most stress, magnified the unwillingness on the part of most medical professionals to seek help. When you ask a health professional “what it is what causes the most stress” , it’s often not that providing health care to the sick or nursing the needy or dealing with the sick causes the most stress, but whether they feel in control over the day-by-day actions or self development or whether they feel a valued team member. These are things which you can find in every profession. He also has found that medical professionals were at a higher risk of mental health problems and of developing a more serious form of depression or bipolar disorders and drug abuse because they do not ask for help on time. There is great anxiety among this group of professionals to seek help for these problems and see themselves as a patient or been seen as a patient by other health professionals.
Harvey’s solution to this problem is to break down some of the barriers, and to let people seek help, and make sure that when they do, it can be done in an appropriate and confidential way. Harvey will begin his 5 year research program by concentrating first on mental health issues experienced by ambulance officers, firefighters and police officers in New South Wales, before hoping to generalize this across the broader workforce.
please click on link to read more: http://www.time-to-change.org.uk/blog/mental-health-professionals-stigma