The Florence Nightingale Foundation has refocused its activity during the COVID 19 pandemic to provide remote leadership support to nurses and midwives working at every level of the organisation. We have become acutely aware of the relevance of mental health and wellbeing in the workplace as a result of the stories nurses and midwives have shared with us. We have heard how their sense of autonomy and control has been influenced by top down directives which have prevented them voicing their concerns, having their worries acknowledged and acted upon. The lack of transparent communication has been an issue for those leading the organisation, those leading teams and those leading care delivery at the frontline.

The influence of the organisational culture, leadership and provision of support on the individuals ability to the thrive in the workplace is a key focus of Hasson & Butler (2020) “Mental Health and Wellbeing in the Workplace”. This text could not be more timely as healthcare organisations recognise their responsibility to make the wellbeing of their staff a genuine priority. The text makes a clear distinction between factors which could negatively impact on wellbeing within the workplace and the organisations’ role in recognising more significant levels of distress which may result in a diagnosis of a mental health problem. The importance of this should not be underestimated, as it places the responsibility to consider wellbeing as an organisational strategy as oppose to an individuals’ burden. For me this is a core aspect of mental health promotion as it prevents the employee being made to feel it is their responsibility to cope better, increase their workload despite experiencing significant stress and keep their wellbeing concerns to themselves. The text is accessible and practical with case studies to illustrate the application of key principles throughout. It would be highly valuable to people within healthcare organisations whose role should require them to consider mental health and wellbeing as integral to the success of the organisation in retaining staff who feel valued as a whole person.

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Review by: Dr Gemma Stacey, Director of Academy

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