Rise in number of NHS and emergency workers seeking help for suicidal thoughts, says charity

There has been a rise in the number of NHS and emergency workers seeking help for suicidal thoughts, a charity has said.

Data from the Laura Hyde Foundation - which was set up by the family of nurse Laura Hyde who took her own life in 2016 - shows that 946 workers contacted the charity in the first six months of 2022 for support over suicidal thoughts. This was up on the 556 who did so in the same period the year before.

The charity, which offers help to medical and emergency service workers including nurses, doctors, paramedics, midwives, police officers and firefighters, said the most common groups contacting the charity for help so far in 2022 are nurses, midwives, medical students and hospital doctors. Most of these (77%) are aged 40 or under.

This comes as the charity has warned that people could face even more severe issues due to the cost of living crisis.

There has been a rise in the number of NHS and emergency workers seeking help for suicidal thoughts, a charity has saidThere has been a rise in the number of NHS and emergency workers seeking help for suicidal thoughts, a charity has said
There has been a rise in the number of NHS and emergency workers seeking help for suicidal thoughts, a charity has said

Liam Barnes, chairman of the charity, said: “These deeply alarming figures expose what we have been growing increasingly concerned about at the Laura Hyde Foundation over recent months.

“And that’s the fact that our healthcare and emergency services are still facing a pandemic. This time however it isn’t Covid-19, it is the state of mental health and wellbeing of the workforce.

“We are yet to see the true effects of burnout, PTSD and many more conditions as a result of this testing time.

“Plus we now have a cost of living crisis which will only add to the burden many of our frontline workers will face.”

Mr Barnes added that it is “critically important” that the new Prime Minister Liz Truss and Health Secretary Therese Coffey put providing mental health support to emergency workers “at the very top of their agenda”.

“Sadly, the topic of mental health specifically for healthcare workers remains riddled with stigma. This simply has to end,” he added.