Further support is a phone call away for Victorian nurses, midwives, students of nursing and midwifery and aged care personal care workers working under extraordinary pressure during the pandemic.
They can call the Nursing and Midwifery Health Program Victoria for tailored mental health, counselling support and referrals with an additional $250,000 in funding announced today by the Andrews Government.
Today’s funding announcement is in addition to $350,000 provided in May to help manage the additional demand due to the workforce stresses in the pandemic.
The independent, free and confidential Nursing and Midwifery Health Program is run by nurses making it a unique support service for the workforce.
Australian Nursing and Midwifery Federation (Victorian Branch) Secretary Lisa Fitzpatrick said: ‘I encourage nurses, midwives, students and carers to use this service if you are worried about COVID-19, worried about taking it home to your family, worried about your patients and residents, if you are in self-isolation or you have tested positive.
‘Use it if your workplace is one of the aged care facilities that has had an outbreak, or if you were one of the nurses first on the scene to assist at an outbreak facility.
‘These have been extraordinary situations and there’s nothing wrong with asking for support at work,’ she said,
‘Nurses, midwives and carers don’t have to carry this all on their own, and please don’t wait until you feel totally overwhelmed,’ Ms Fitzpatrick said.
Mental health support is not a replacement for the right PPE and the right infection controls and processes. ANMF continues to work with the Victorian Government, the Department of Health and Human Services, health facility representatives and our members to quickly to resolve any issues raised.
Of the more than 91,000 ANMF (Vic Branch) members, there were 37 issues over the past week with the vast majority relating to education around the safe use of PPE.
The NMHPV, established in 2006, was originally funded through nurses’ and midwives’ registration fees.
Funding became precarious after the transition from state to national registration in 2010 with the national nursing and midwifery board declining to fund the NMHPV. After its 2014 election, the Andrews Government provided the program’s recurrent funding.
Robyn Asbury – M: 0417 523 252