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Many will face mental health struggles as a result of this pandemic – but perhaps some of the most vulnerable are the 1.4 million NHS staff members fighting on the frontline.
They’re working long hours, often away from their families to keep them safe. They see firsthand the awful effects of this virus on the human body. And they have patients, possibly even coworkers, whose lives are taken as a result.
These people face little reprieve from the brutal reality of Covid-19, a reality the rest of us are very much sheltered from. Unless you’re in that position yourself, the mental toll is unimaginable.
“Right now, our day-to-day roles have dramatically changed and there’s more pressure,” Charlie, an anaesthetist, tells HuffPost UK. “Doctors are being moved to support different teams, often in completely different specialisms, and that can be really nerve-racking.”
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On top of this, the work Whatsapp groups don’t stop, says Charlie, and family and friends are constantly asking questions. “It’s hard to get any headspace and find respite,” he says. “Unfortunately, there’s a lot of uncertainty.”
The primary concern for doctors right now is their patients, and their patients’ families. This means their own struggles are often be suppressed. “Even when you’re off duty at home, there’s a lot to process from your shift, plus you’re aware of what you might be taking home to your family,” adds Charlie.
Jo, a doctor, says the uncertainty element is impacting her mental health. She’s having trouble sleeping, is struggling to find time to exercise, and has lost her appetite.
Even when you’re off...