Understaffing puts frontline mental health at further risk
A recent survey by the Australian Council of Trade Unions (ACTU) has shown that the country’s frontline health workers are facing incredible rates of understaffing and overwork, leading to unprecedented levels of stress and mental ill-health.
Of those surveyed by the ACTU, 56% of health workers said that they faced understaffing on a regular basis, leading to overwork and stress.
Further 30% said that they regularly skipped entitled meal or rest breaks, the highest in any industry.
As a result, 17% of survey respondents noted that they had suffered from mental health injuries stemming from the circumstances of their work.
ACTU Assistant Secretary Liam O’Brien said that the data painted a “shocking picture of our health workforce”.
“This research shows that Australian frontline healthcare workers are under immense pressure,” Mr O’Brien said.
“Frontline workers who have carried our country through the pandemic should be able to rely on a safe workplace and robust WHS policies which protect their mental and physical health”.
The NSW Nurses and Midwives’ Association is continuing their campaign towards safe staffing ratios in the NSW health system, to help reduce incidences of overwork and work-related mental illness. You can find out more about the campaign here.