World Mental Health Day - 10th October 2020

 

The theme of World Mental Health Day 2020 is ‘Mental Health for All, Greater Investment – Greater Access’

For over a decade I have been leading a service for doctors and dentists with mental illness. It has taken time, commitment and hard work to be able to demonstrate that providing access to mental health care for all doctors and dentists in England was worth the investment, would save careers and lives.

Now, as we enter the next phase of COVID, the numbers attending have increased by almost 50% on last year and more than ever there is an imperative to focus on the mental health of our entire health and care workforce.

The last six months have been tough for health professionals and ensuring that we invest in mental health care, and ensure they have access to confidential, appropriate care could not be more important right now. If we are to face the next phase of this pandemic we need to recognise that these individuals, both in the front line and in the spaces behind, are the backbone of our society. They care for those in need, and face suffering with professionalism and love.

We have a moral and ethical duty to look after their mental health and to allow them spaces, times and resources to do the work we demand from them.

As plans develop in NHS England and the devolved nations to widen access to care for staff and to invest in their mental wellbeing we look on with hope that Covid-19 has made the mental health of our workforce a priority. Now is the time to invest and enable access to the care they need.

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