Nurse & Midwife Support (NM Support) is the first national dedicated telephone and online service that provides 24/7 access to an experienced team who can provide advice and referral to nurses and midwives about their own health and wellbeing.
With more than 75,000 nurses and midwives across the state, Queensland is the third largest employer of nurses and midwives nationally.
NM Support is run by Turning Point, a leading addiction treatment, research and education organisation. The service was established following a research project on health issues for nurses and midwives, which included a survey sent to every nurse and midwife in Australia. Of the 10 000 nurses and midwives who participated in the research nationally, many said that they were unaware of the available mental health, drug and alcohol support services that could provide help.
Turning Point Program Director Anthony Denham said the survey also revealed many nurses and midwives were concerned that the only available option was to seek help through formal notification.
“Without appropriate support services, many of these nurses and midwives can fall through the cracks if they don’t know where to seek help or fear the repercussions of notifying their employer,” Mr Denham said.
Nurse & Midwife Support aims to fill this gap, by providing somewhere to go before issues progress and impair their ability to work and care for themselves and their patients.
The service also offers support to nursing and midwifery students, educators, employers and concerned family members. Mr Denham said that while nurses and midwives are recognised as the caregivers, they can also face health and wellbeing challenges and need support in receiving care.
“This may include stress caused by work, family problems, relationship issues, as well as alcohol and drug related issues, or mental health concerns,” Mr Denham said.
He said the service was about providing anonymous, ‘no strings attached’ support that helps nurses and midwives deal with health issues that may affect their personal lives and work.
“I would encourage any nurse or midwife who needs our help to call us today. Put our support number in your phone so it is there if you ever need it. Whether you work in the city or a rural or remote location, you are not alone – help is available.”
Nurse & Midwife Support Stakeholder Engagement Project Officer, Mark Aitkin, will be visiting nurses and midwives in Queensland this month.
The service is now available across Australia and is open to nurses, midwives, students, employers, educators, concerned friends or relatives and the public.