Mental Health Resources for Nurses

Caring for patients is rewarding, but it’s also hard! Nurses work in stressful environments, which can put their mental health at risk. If you think you’re dealing with mental health issues as a nurse, seek help from a mental health professional.

Making time for self-care can help you reduce the risk of things like burnout, depression, and anxiety. Taking care of your overall health can play a crucial role in staying healthy and happy! Here are some tips:

  • Eat a healthy diet
  • Get at least 7 hours of sleep in a 24-hour period
  • Try stress reduction techniques like mindfulness
  • Get 30 minutes of exercise 5 days a week
  • Limit alcohol consumption
  • Make time to do things you enjoy, like reading a book or talking to friends and family
  • Talk to your colleagues about job-related stressors
  • Take work breaks
  • Ask for help when you feel overwhelmed
If you do notice signs that your mental health is declining, don’t stay quiet. We know many nurses feel like they can’t or shouldn’t talk about their mental health, but it’s actually the exact opposite! Your mental health is important and it’s not a weakness to need help. You matter, and you can’t help others if you’re struggling yourself. Reach out to someone, whether a friend, family member, colleague, or mental health professional if you’re feeling negative mental health effects as a nurse.
Compact Nursing States
Travel Nurse — Compact Nursing States

Resources for nurses struggling with a mental health crisis:

National Suicide Prevention Lifeline resources:

Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration (SAMHSA) resources:

  • National helpline: 1-800-622-HELP (4357)
  • Disaster Distress Helpline call or text: 1-800-985-5990

Reducing the Risks of Nurse Burnout

Burnout is by far one of the highest mental health risks for nurses around the nation. Burnout is typically described as mental, physical, and emotional exhaustion.

Being a nurse is a high-pressure job! Things like not getting enough sleep, working long hours, caring for patients, and making quick and sometimes hard decisions are all stressors that can lead to burnout.

Here are some signs of burnout to look out for:

  • Fatigue
  • Dreading going to work
  • Feeling unappreciated
  • Feeling constantly overworked

Noticing the signs of burnout is the first step to getting help. There are many things you can do to help with burnout, such as talking to a therapist, taking some time off, or scheduling time for much needed self-care activities.

Tips for reducing your risk of burnout:

  • Try to get a schedule that allows work-life balance
  • Try to avoid working overtime
  • Take breaks during your shift
  • Take your vacation time
  • Seek support from your colleagues, support groups, or mental health professionals
  • Learn coping skills like journaling, relaxation techniques, etc.

If you’re a nurse dealing with burnout, it’s important to get help. Getting help isn’t a sign of weakness, it’s a sign of strength! It means you know your mind and body and understand you’re dealing with the effects of high stress and pressure. Try talking to your nurse manager or a mental health professional. Talk to those in charge of your employee assistance program (EAP).

Getting help for nurse burnout is essential. Untreated or ignored burnout can lead to feelings of hopelessness, cynicism, and depression. If you’re feeling burnt out, you may not be able to provide the best care possible for your patients.

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