High increase in mental health staff stress leave

The number of NHS mental health staff who have taken sick leave as a result of mental health issues has risen by 22 per cent in the past five years.

According to BBC freedom of information requests, the number of staff taking long-term leave of a month or more rose from 7,580 in 2012-13 to 9,285 in 2016-17.

The Royal College of Nursing warned that factors such as violence at work was contributing to ‘burnout stress’ and ‘depression’.

Dave Munday, mental health professional lead at union Unite, said: "These figures are of real concern and they only tell part of the story. We know that many more mental health professionals will feel unwell but try to 'soldier on' or mask the real reason they're taking leave. Our members tell us workplace stress is increasing and that cuts to staff and services mean they're working longer hours with fewer resources. Staff themselves are feeling the impact of austerity and there's a lack of trust in the often repeated but not fulfilled promises of the current government."

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