what support is available for nurses?, nhs mental health and bereavement service

What support is available for nurses?

By Dan Allard

​We share details of some emotional and practice support services that are designed specifically for nurses.

Royal College of Nursing (RCN)

Members of the Royal College of Nursing have access to a number of support services that have been designed to offer practical and emotional support. Services range from telephone counselling, through to immigration advice and peer support for ill health or disability issues.

  • Emotional support

The RCN’s telephone counselling service is designed to help you cope with work-related and personal issues. You may be struggling with anxiety or low mood, or affected by relationship issues. Whatever the circumstances, you can access free, confidential support.

  • Financial support

The RCN can also offer practical advice on welfare issues and help you to manage financially on a reduced budget. They can provide confidential advice and representation to help you resolve issues such as a mortgage or rent arrears. They can also assess you for charitable grants via their Lamplight Support Service.

Mental Health Hotline

In April 2020, the NHS launched a dedicated mental health hotline for nurses and other frontline health professionals to cope with work pressures. The hotline, which has been manned by trained volunteers from charities including the Samaritans, allows NHS employees to benefit from psychological support.

The phone line (0300 131 7000) is open between 7am and 11pm every day, while the text service (which can be accessed by texting FRONTLINE to 85258) is in operation 24/7.

NHS Employers

The NHS Employers website has a carefully curated page which outlines what support is available to all NHS staff. This ranges from a list of financial discounts, through to details of online support hubs. There are also details of support available for mental health and bereavement service, as well as NHS Charities.


Careline was launched by the Nursing and Midwifery Council (NMC) in October 2019. It is a dedicated support service for nurses, midwives, and nursing associates who may be involved in fitness to practice processes.

The chat line operates 24 hours a day, 365 days a year. Nurses can talk to counsellors via freephone, live chat, or email, as they cope with the emotional fallout of being involved in a fitness to practice procedure.

If you need any emotional or practical support, please contact your Sanctuary consultant. We are here to help you through every aspect of your nursing career.