Guyana: Nurses are not machines– they need mental health programme, says senior psychologist

AS Guyana celebrated Universal Health Coverage Day earlier last week, Principal Nursing Tutor of the Georgetown School of Nursing Cleopatra Barkoye renewed her call for the initiation of a programme to address the mental health of nurses.
Her call was supported by senior psychologist of the Ministry of Public Health, Mental Health Unit, Balogun Osunbiyi.

“Midwives and nurses that are in the forefront of the health care system, but they’re not paid attention to in how do they de-stress to go again. There is no such programme and I think that is one area that we need to look at if we’re talking Universal Health Care. It’s not good not to take care of your own,” Osunbiyi related.

With over 29 years of experience in the sector, Barkoye has seen first-hand the toll that mental stress can have on the psyche of nurses.

“I remember many years ago I was receiving my training in midwifery and a midwife had a fresh still birth and she cried and she cried and she cried and no amount of help from her colleagues could console her. Now that midwife had to go home and come again and do the same thing all over again. No one to talk to, and that’s a sad thing that has been happening time and time again,” Osunbiyi pointed out.


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