Nurses, May 12, 2022, 11:37 a.m.

International Nurses Day – Thursday, 12th May 2022 Nurses Mental Health Matters Too


Happy Nurses – happy patients! The well-being of Nurses is critical to the security of the healthcare system in South Africa, including primary care, hospitals, patients’ and healthcare teams.

When Nursing wellness suffers, so does patient care and patient safety. As a high-risk profession, where no adverse events are tolerated, Nurses are exposed to high levels of occupational stress. For International Nurses Day on Thursday the 12th May, The South African Depression and Anxiety Group (SADAG) and Healthcare Workers Care Network (HWCN) wants to highlight the importance that Nurses Mental Health Matters too.


International Nurses Day is an important day on the Health calendar to acknowledge the hard work, dedication, sacrifices and commitment that our South African Nurses do on a daily basis despite the circumstance and challenges, where they risk their lives and mental health to serve and help others.


"The COVID-19 crisis has aggravated the long-standing challenges faced by Nurses in relation to inequalities (e.g., inadequate renumeration, higher numbers of women in the profession (which leads to oppression and stereotyping), inadequate working conditions and chronic excessive work pressures. The outcome is compassion fatigue and mental health challenges, leading to absenteeism, high turnover, immigration, and intention to leave the profession,” says Prof Tanya Heyns, University of Pretoria’s Senior Lecturer (PhD) specializing in Emergency Nursing.


"Nurses are very proud and we want to help each and every person. To ask for help is difficult. I do think that we are more open to get help. The past 2 years we had to get help in order to be able to help others," says *Zanele, Nurse and ICU Unit Manager.



Join The #FacebookFriday Online Live chat as Experts Unpack the Role of Nurses in Mental Health

In order to create more safe spaces to talk about Nurses and Mental Health, SADAG and HWCN will be hosting a #FacebookFriday on Friday the 13 May at 1pm, with expert panelists Prof Tanya Heyns and Prof Annatjie van der Wath. Through the live online session, the panel will unpack the challenges around accessing mental health help for Nurses in the workplace, addressing stigma, and sharing self-care tips specifically for Nurses. To join the live online Q&A, visit the SADAG Facebook page on @TheSADAG.





Getting help through the Healthcare Workers Care Network


Through the Healthcare Workers Care Network, Nurses have access to 4 probono therapy sessions by a qualified mental health professional (eg. Psychiatrist, Psychologist, Social Workers, Registered Counsellor, etc.), as well as group debriefing sessions, training and access to a free online Support Group just for Healthcare Workers. The HWCN provides a 24 hour dedicated tollfree Helpline (0800 21 21 21) or sms 43001 that provides confidential telephone counselling and crisis intervention for all mental health issues. Nurses can even fill in an online form via the HWCN website ( to request for free therapy sessions.