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On New Year's Eve 2019 the world was full of hopes, dreams, and good wishes for the new year. Little did we know that our world was about to be turned upside down. The nursing profession was thrust into the forefront of Society's attention and they looked to us to help them. They have seen us at our best and at our wit's end. Their expectations for us are high. We're seen as soldiers in a war they're relying on us to win with minimal casualties.
We also have high expectations for ourselves. We throw ourselves into our work, often at the expense of our families and our own wellbeing. We feel pulled between equally important obligations, so often at the cost of our own mental and physical health. It is no secret that the last person that a nurse takes care of is themself.
It's hard to remember what life was like before Covid-19, before the isolation and wave after wave of shutdowns and restrictions. Our coping skills have been assaulted and battered. We've been named "Essential" and called "Heroes" for just doing our jobs. Somehow it feels hollow and empty.
According to Alan Mozes, a reporter for Healthday, in an article from U.S. News and World Report*, the suicide rate for nurses prior to the Corona Virus pandemic was more than double that of the general population. It doesn't take a genius to understand that under the current circumstances it will get far worse.
Well then, what do we do about it? We start by talking about it, by recognizing the signs, and by standing in the gap. We need to understand that we are only human, and as such we have limits. It is not weakness to ask for help. Likewise, we need to look beyond ourselves and see what is going on around us. Nurses are famous for that little voice in the back of our heads. We need to listen to it. When we sense something isn't right we shouldn't be afraid to say something. As nurses we are called to be advocates. It is just as important to advocate for our fellow nurses and coworkers as it is for our patients.
This is why Nursie Gear is supporting the 988 Suicide and Crisis Lifeline. For every order we receive, Nursie Gear will donate a portion of every purchase, up to $250,000 to help stop the other reason that Covid-19 is so deadly.
To find out more about how you can help or be helped go to: www.988lifeline.org