Now months into the global pandemic, we have been able to see and experience the positive and negative impacts on a diverse range of health and social issues. Linsie is a Mental Health Occupational Therapist and past Nurses In Action Volunteer, currently working as a Community Mental Health Clinician in Victoria. She has kindly shared her insights:
“Overall the resilience of people has been incredibly humbling, people are reaching out to others to show kindness and compassion more than ever. Unfortunately, the other side to this is that the longer restrictions have been in place, the cumulative impacts on people’s mental health has been increasing significantly due to isolation, financial and economic uncertainty, unemployment, loneliness, and also the worry about the health impacts of the virus,” highlights Linsie.
“We are a seeing greater prevalence of people presenting for mental health treatment for the first time, and those with pre-existing mental ill-health are reaching out for support more than ever. My colleagues who work in acute services have reported an increase in presentations to the emergency departments in the context of acute mental health crisis.”
Linsie reaffirmed her passion for working within the mental health space while on our Kenyan Nurses In Action program a few years ago. She saw how little mental health issues were identified and treated in Kenya compared to how accessible treatment is in Australia.
“From memory, at the time I went on the Nurses In Action program, there were approximately only 100 psychiatrists for the entire population of Kenya. There is significant stigma towards people who have mental ill-health in Kenya. Often people are rejected by their families,” Linsie reflects.
This year has really demonstrated the generosity, strength and courage of health professionals more than ever. But we shouldn’t dismiss that there is great sacrifice and a fear that our health professionals have needed to overcome, just to be able to do their jobs.
“It is extremely difficult hearing stories of hardship and loss, and maintaining my own well-being while trying to support others,” shares Linsie.
We are in awe of the ongoing dedication and passion that health professionals everywhere have for their work. Our thoughts are with the millions of health professionals worldwide, in particular our past and future Nurses In Action volunteers. Stay safe <3