I’m not a medic and my exposure to stress has been limited to working in a classroom for 40 years. My only experience of grief is limited to bereavements. I took advantage of counselling and discovered that counselling is all about listening. You unburden- someone listens. Counsellors don’t have solutions or give advice, they listen and with careful prompting lead you through your thoughts and over time, help you to come to terms with your angst.

Who is going to listen to the doctors, nurses, porters, healthcare assistants, amulance men and women to name a few? Not their families, they’ve lived through the back to back shifts and seen their nearest and dearest pushed to their physical and mental limits. Mental health services will be streched to capacity for those who recognise that they need support. CAHMS also for our children who are also suffering as a result of this insidious disease. Too often proud professionals are the last to admit or accept that they need support. Before it is too late a “listening army” of people needs to be recruited and trained.

Either fund the Samaritans ( a charitable service who already provide NHS suppport) and increase the hours (24/7 supermarkets do it) that they are available for. Set up an independent phone line or online talking room. Advertise the service so it promotes the fact that it is not a sign of failure to ask for help.

Act now, or be prepared for people leaving the professions through exhaustion, early retirement, or a realisation that clapping does not compensate for low pay.

Professionals naturally counsel one another with leaders providing support for junior staff. Who will supervise those leaders? Other leaders?




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