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'Absolutely defeated': Black nurses struggle with mental health support while battling Covid-19

February 22, 2021. Summarized by summa-bot.

Compression ratio: 16.5%. 1 min read.

The stress of taking care of Covid-19 patients has Black nurses in need of mental health care -- but getting it can be a challenge.

"If I don't take care of myself, I can't turn around and go back to my next shift and be a good nurse," Thompson said.

But people in the Black community can have a hard time reaching out for mental health care, said Cheryl Taylor, chair of the school of nursing at Southern University in Baton Rouge, Louisiana.

She said it's important to feel safe when opening up to a mental health care professional, and that's not easy for Black people, who have a history of not being respected in the mental health world.

Black people often receive lower quality mental health care, said Shalonda Kelly, associate professor of psychology at Rutgers University in New Jersey.

The program's goal is to teach nurses how to relieve the stresses they're facing in healthy ways and connect them to mental health resources, said Millicent Gorham, the association's executive director.

Thompson said it made her realize the importance of being a compassionate and caring nurse.

Nurses shouldn't hesitate to reach out for mental health support when they need it, Taylor said, because it means they're practicing what they preach as nurses.

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