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What do you do for your mental health?

We love to reach out to our nurses on certain topics and share their responses with you all, and in recognition of World Mental Health Day (10 October 2021), we reached out to our Registered Mental Health Nurses asking for their insights on the landscape of mental health nursing.


“I don’t feel like my role has changed during the coronavirus pandemic, but I do feel that there is a need for more RMNs in the world, especially in the setting of healthcare service providers such as hospitals and clinics. RMNs also need support, and I’m fortunate that I have a support system in place to help me. I’m blessed to have assistance from unions, family friends, and colleagues. There are many ways that people in general, and RMNs as well, can relax. My preference is exercising, spending time with loved ones, watching television/streaming online, and working in the house/garden.”

- Bongiwe


“My role as an RMN hasn’t changed since the coronavirus pandemic began, but there is nevertheless a need for more RMNs. This position is especially scarce in healthcare settings such as service providers including hospitals and clinics. As an RMN, I feel like we also need support, and I am very lucky to have support from my family. On days where I need to relax, I like to read a book, exercise, spend time with my loved ones, watch something on the television or online, and tend to my garden and my house.”

- Habibatu


“In my personal experience, my role as an RMN has changed since the coronavirus pandemic. I have found that we always have to check that there are enough PPEs to protect patients and other staff. The theme this year for World Mental Health Day is ‘mental health in an unequal world’, and I feel that although mental health is more recognised, mentally unwell patients still suffer from some form of discrimination one way or the other. This, and many other reasons, lead me to believe that there is a greater need for RMNs across all settings including schools, universities, healthcare service providers (for example hospitals and clinics), and the workplace. This year, to recognise and get involved with World Mental Health Day, I’ll be encouraging friends and family to speak out if they experience any mental health issues. These are also the people with whom I like to spend time when I relax.”

- Herine


“I haven’t found my role as an RMN to have changed during the coronavirus pandemic. I do, however, feel that there is still a need for more RMNs in the world in any case. The most relevant settings where I think more RMNs are needed include schools, universities, healthcare service providers (such as hospitals and clinics), and the workplace as well. In light of this, for World Mental Health Day this year, I will be discussing with my colleagues what the way forward is when it comes to mental health services. I won’t be involved in any particular campaign, but I would like to advocate and understand the need for mental health issues and the services needed to address these. One of the things I find helpful in terms of receiving support as an RMN is ‘Emu experience’ and the information that it provides. Other things that help me, especially when I want to relax, is reading a book, exercising, spending time with my loved ones, and watching television or streaming online.”

- Joseph


“As an RMN with quite some experience, I don’t feel that the coronavirus pandemic has affected my role in this industry. Nevertheless, I do feel that more RMNs are needed in all settings including schools, universities, the healthcare service provider sectors like hospitals and clinics, in addition to the workplace.  This is also motivation for me to recognise and get involved with World Mental Health Day by giving support and reassurances to people who need it. Even though there is no particular campaign that I’m going to be involved in, I would like for mental health staff to be supported and I’ll contribute to this in whichever way that I can. On this note, speaking as an RMN, I find that there is less support from the workplace and more from friends and family. The latter are also my favourite way to relax- Spending time with my loved ones.”

- Philomena


“As an extensively experienced RMN, I definitely feel like the coronavirus pandemic has changed my role. I have found that I’ve needed to give more support to children and young adults with their mental health. This is also what I’ll be contributing to this year in support of World Mental Health Day- I’ll be raising awareness about students with depression, especially young adults (20-25). In light of this year’s theme (mental health in an unequal world), I think that people are affected differently and globally. Individuals’ responses and how they manage things differ according to their mental strength. This also contributed to the need for more RMNs in this world including schools, universities, healthcare services (hospitals, clinics, etc.) as well as the workplace. RMNs also need support, though, which I find through my workplace and family. A great way to relax, for me, is by exercising, spending time with loved ones, watching television and streaming online, as well as working in the house and garden.”

- Ola



Thank you to everyone who was gracious enough to share their insight. We hope that this can help our readers.


Mental health is just as important as physical health.


Make sure that you are making time for your mental health. Whether you reach out for support from loved ones, or find other support systems that work for you, it’s important that you work on your mental wellness.

Keep in touch with your loved ones, reach out to your colleagues, and read between the lines when you listen to what they have to say. Sometimes behind the biggest of smiles is someone in need of help.

Is there anything that you’ve found particularly helpful in dealing with mental health challenges? We would love to hear from you!