Supporting Australia's nurses and midwives through burnout and exhaustion

The Australian Government has invested $25.2 million to establish and run the National Nurse and Midwife Health Service to provide peer-to-peer support and referrals.

The Hon Ged Kearney MP
Assistant Minister for Health and Aged Care

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The Albanese Government has invested $25.2 million to establish and run the National Nurse and Midwife Health Service to provide peer-to-peer support and referrals.

 

This new national support service will help Australia’s nurses and midwives, including students, to better manage their health and wellbeing with counselling and support services. This support aims to reduce increasing rates of fatigue, stress and burnout which we know have escalated since the start of the pandemic.

 

It will provide a welcoming, stigma-free entry point for nurses and midwives with a range of health issues, from stress management to quick assessment and referral to respond to mental health issues requiring additional services.

 

The health service will employ registered nurses, enrolled nurses, nurse practitioners and midwives to offer free, confidential and independent advice, support, information, treatment and specialist referrals.

 

Telephone consultations will also form a significant part of the service, making support more accessible to nurses and midwives in regional and rural locations.

 

This service will help keep more of our nurses and midwives healthy and supported, ultimately keeping more nurses in the workforce, caring for patients. This will help ease some pressure on the health and hospital system, and benefit other health professionals, families, communities and the public.

 

The new national service committed in the 2022-23 Federal Budget is modelled on the successful Nursing and Midwifery Health Program Victoria which has been operating since 2006.

 

Work will commence shortly on the national roll out framework, led by the Australian Nursing and Midwifery Federation in consultation with the Australian and state and territory governments, key service providers and nursing peaks.  

 

The service will operate through four central hub locations, including Victoria-Tasmania, New South Wales-Australian Capital Territory, South Australia-Western Australia, and Queensland-Northern Territory, and additional regional offices.

 

QUOTES ATTRIBUTABLE TO ASSISTANT MINISTER FOR HEALTH AND AGED CARE GED KEARNEY MP:

 

“This is about providing a familiar front door for nurses and midwives to be able to talk about their mental health concerns to their peers who just get it.”

 

“Our nurses and midwives are burnt out and exhausted from working through the pandemic.”

 

“It’s important that we provide proper support so they can continue to have fulfilling careers and personal lives.”

 

“Our nurses and midwives contribute so much to our communities and it’s imperative that we support them to manage their health in a way that works for them. Expanding this program nationally is about providing that support in a welcoming, accessible way.”

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