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Nursing voices: Perspectives and stories on mental health.

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Welcome to our weekly blog! This time we will step into a world of captivating stories, where professionals in the field of mental health reveal their personal journeys. Each interview unveils a unique perspective, filled with raw emotions and valuable insights. It is important to note that the names of the interviewees have been changed to protect their identity and preserve their privacy. This measure has been taken to safeguard their well-being and avoid potential professional repercussions.

These professionals offer an authentic and candid perspective, shedding light on the intricacies of this topic. Despite their anonymity, their words and experiences carry immense power, providing a truly unique insight.

Hi Marie, thank you very much for granting us this short interview, is it okay if we start?

Marie, hi thank you so much for having me, it’s always a pleasure to talk about my experience as a nurse, let’s get started.

How has your personal experience been in terms of taking care of your mental health while practicing your profession as a nurse?

It has been a challenge; it is very difficult to balance my job as a nurse and the responsibilities of being a mother of five. I have had episodes where I didn’t have time for myself and I had to learn to set some limits and take time for myself. Of course, it was difficult at first, but I received professional help, and that made the whole process easier.

Have you ever felt pressure to hide or minimize your own mental health problems because of the associated stigma?

Yes, I have felt that pressure constantly. There is a great fear of assuming you have problems and need help, and in my profession even more so. Maybe it’s because we are expected to be strong and resilient. I used to hide my own problems or minimize them for fear of being judged or considered less capable in my work. However, I have learned that it is important to leave those biases in the past and seek support when I need it. Now I know that mental health is just as important as physical health and that seeking help is not a weakness, but a sign of strength and self-care.

What do you think are the main challenges health professionals face in terms of their mental health?

Stress and work pressure are definitely the main challenges. Our work can be intense and demanding, with long hours and emotionally difficult situations, and many times we feel we have to hide all our problems so we are not judged or considered weak.

What self-care measures have you implemented to protect your mental health in a demanding work environment?

I have learned to set clear limits between my work and my personal life. I try to disconnect from work when I am at home and set aside time for myself and my loved ones. I have also incorporated activities that I enjoy into my routine such as exercising or singing, you have no idea how therapeutic it is to let go of yourself and let the music carry you away.

Have you witnessed situations where colleagues have been stigmatized or faced difficulties due to mental health issues? How do you think this problem could be effectively addressed?

Yes, unfortunately, I have witnessed situations where colleagues have been affected or faced difficulties due to mental health issues. I believe it is critical to address this issue effectively in order to create a healthier and more compassionate work environment.

Do you feel that there is a taboo in the health field about talking openly about mental illness? Have you noticed any improvement or change in this area over the years?

Of course, there is, talking openly about stress or emotional exhaustion is frowned upon. They make you think you are weak or not good enough for your job.

However, I have noticed that in recent years there has been more openness and awareness about the importance of mental health. But there is still little that has been achieved, but it’s a start.

How do you think the support systems and resources available to health professionals facing mental health challenges could be improved?

I think a nurse-to-nurse support system could be implemented, where we can share experiences and support each other. This could include discussion groups, debriefing sessions after stressful situations, or even mentoring programs.

What advice would you give to other nurses who may be dealing with mental health issues, but are afraid to seek help because of the associated stigma?

My advice to other nurses who are dealing with these types of issues and are afraid to seek help is to remember that their health and well-being are paramount. They should not feel shame or weakness for seeking support. We are human and that we all face challenges at some point in our lives. Seeking help can not only benefit your own mental health, but it can also improve your ability to provide quality care to patients.

Do you have anything else you’d like to say?

Sure, you who are going to read me. You are not alone, and there are professionals and resources available to help you. Talk to a therapist, counselor or seek support from specialized groups, it only takes one step to start on the road to wellness.


Hello Jean, thank you very much for granting us this short interview, is it okay if we start?

Hi, thanks for inviting me, I’m ready to get started.

How has your personal experience been in terms of taking care of your mental health while practicing your profession as a nurse?

Oh, mental health! At first, I didn’t think much of it. I thought it was all part of the nursing job: stress, long shifts, and all that. But then I realized that I needed to take care of myself as much as my patients. Now, I try to take breaks during the day, have moments of relaxation, and share with my loved ones. It’s a constant balance, but it’s worth it!

Have you ever felt pressure to hide or minimize your own mental health problems because of the associated stigma?

Oh yes, that stigma is like a giant movie monster, out to get us. Sometimes, I feel that pressure to hide my mental health issues because I’m afraid of being judged or deemed inadequate for the job. But you know what, I realized that there’s nothing to be ashamed of. We all have our challenges, and seeking help is brave and necessary!

What do you think are the main challenges health professionals face in terms of their mental health?

Challenges, my friend, are like hurdles in an obstacle course. We work in a stressful environment, with high demands and sometimes limited resources. We care deeply about our patients, and that can lead us to neglect our own mental health. We also face pressure to be strong and stand strong in the face of difficult situations. It’s a challenge to balance our needs with the responsibilities of the job.

What self-care measures have you implemented to protect your mental health in a demanding work environment?

Ah, self-care! That’s my secret weapon, my friend. I implement little things every day. I take time to exercise, get enough rest and enjoy activities that I love. I also love to laugh, so I look for moments to share jokes or enjoy a good joke.

Have you witnessed situations where colleagues have been stigmatized or faced difficulties due to mental health issues? How do you think this problem could be effectively addressed?

Unfortunately, I have witnessed situations where coworkers have been stereotyped or faced difficulties due to mental health issues. It’s sad and discouraging! I think the important thing is to educate ourselves and others. We need to promote empathy and understanding, remember that we are all human and we all deserve support and understanding.

Do you feel that there is a taboo in the health field about talking openly about mental illness? Have you noticed any improvement or change in this area over the years?

Oh, that taboo! It has existed for so long, like the bogeyman. But I’m happy to tell you that I’ve noticed a gradual change. You know, I see more conversations, more awareness, and less fear of talking openly about mental health. There is still work to be done, but I think we are breaking that taboo little by little.

How do you think the support systems and resources available to health professionals facing mental health challenges could be improved?

Ah, dear, support systems and resources are vital. We need more wellness and mental health programs in our institutions. From accessible mentoring services to support groups, we should all have access to them. In addition, it’s important to foster a culture of caring and mutual support among healthcare professionals. We must not face this alone.

What advice would you give to other nurses who may be dealing with mental health issues, but are afraid to seek help because of the associated stigma?

To my dear colleagues who are afraid to seek help, I would say: you are not alone! You can talk to someone you trust, whether it’s a friend, a loved one, or a healthcare professional. Don’t get caught up in the stigma, seek the support you need. Always keep in mind that taking care of yourself has nothing to do with being weak, it makes you brave and capable of providing the best care for others.

Do you have anything else you’d like to say?

I would love to see mental health treated with the same importance as physical health in nursing and healthcare in general. We need more mental health education, wellness programs, access to counseling services and a culture of caring for each other can make a difference. Together we can make it happen, my friend!


Hello Mia, thank you very much for granting us this short interview, is it okay if we start?

Hi, sure. Let’s start.

How has your personal experience been in terms of taking care of your mental health while practicing your profession as a nurse?

Well, I don’t usually think about mental health while working. My focus has always been on providing care and attention to my patients. I don’t know much about mental health, but I try to stay positive and deal with stress as it arises.

Have you ever felt pressure to hide or minimize your own mental health problems because of the associated stigma?

I can’t say that I have felt that pressure specifically. I have not had serious mental health issues, at least to my knowledge, so I have not felt the need to hide or minimize anything. However, I recognize that there is a certain fear associated with mental health conditions, and I think it’s important to support those who need it.

What do you think are the main challenges health professionals face in terms of their mental health?

I think one of the main challenges is dealing with the stress and emotional burden of caring for others. Sometimes it can be overwhelming to see the suffering of patients and deal with difficult situations. In addition, irregular work schedules and long hours can take a toll on healthcare professionals.

What self-care measures have you implemented to protect your mental health in a demanding work environment?

As for self-care, I don’t know, I just dedicate myself to enjoying the activities I love like reading, exercising and so on. What I do is maintain good communication with my coworkers so I can share experiences.

Have you witnessed situations where colleagues have been stigmatized or faced difficulties due to mental health issues? How do you think this problem could be effectively addressed?

I cannot say that I have witnessed specific situations, but I believe it is important to create a work environment that is compassionate and supportive. I mean fostering openness and communication, providing emotional support, and ensuring that all healthcare professionals feel safe and comfortable to seek help if they need it.

Do you feel that there is a taboo in the health field about talking openly about mental illness? Have you noticed any improvement or change in this area over the years?

I don’t know, I don’t have much knowledge on the topic. However, I have noticed that in recent years it has become more common to hear and talk about mental health in general, and that may indicate a positive change in the perception and acceptance of mental health.

How do you think the support systems and resources available to health professionals facing mental health challenges could be improved?

Well, I think that therapies or training in stress management and emotional work can be helpful for many.

What advice would you give to other nurses who may be dealing with mental health issues, but are afraid to seek help because of the associated stigma?

My advice would be to not be afraid to seek help if you feel you need it. Mental health is just as important as physical health, and there is no shame in seeking support.

Do you have anything else you’d like to say?

It’s important to educate health professionals and the general public about the importance of mental health and how we can support each other.

We have reached the end of these interviews, reminded of the incredible strength and resilience of the human spirit. The stories shared by these mental health professionals have touched our hearts and given us a better understanding of the challenges they face. Their courage to open up and share their experiences is truly commendable.

We hope these interviews serve to raise awareness about the importance of mental health. We must break down barriers and promote a supportive environment for all. Remember that each of us has a role to play in creating a world where mental health is valued and prioritized.

Thank you for joining us on this journey. See you next week.

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