I wrote to the Prime Minister recently because I am angry. I am angry because COVID-19 is unleashing a new wave of pain and it is largely avoidable. We have the tools and expertise right now to combat it and it will not be very costly. I’m talking about supporting the mental health of the people who are saving lives and keeping our fragile society on its feet. Our frontline workers. Without support, on a par with a lack of PPE, we are exposing them to potentially crushing mental health repercussions and we need to act NOW.
A recent article in The Guardian spelt out why I’m feeling so furious, referencing a recent YouGov poll of 996 healthcare workers for IPPR think tank:
“The pandemic is having a ‘severe impact’ on the mental wellbeing of NHS personnel as well as agency staff, GPs and dentists, with rates of anxiety and burnout also running far higher than usual.” The survey goes on to reveal that, “overall, 21% of those questioned by YouGov earlier this month said that Covid-19 had made them more likely to stop working in health. That could see the NHS in England alone lose 300,000 of its 1.5 million-strong workforce.”
And we can do something about it.
A working group needs to be formed and swift action taken. Let’s not let them down (again?).