Hero Definition

08 Jun 2020

Prince William warns against ‘hero’ title for NHS workers

During the coronavirus pandemic, the community has often celebrated the amazing work being done by our NHS. However, the ‘hero’ tag may have an impact on mental health, Prince William warns.

Speaking on the BBC’s One Show, The Duke of Cambridge explained that this continuous praise could stop NHS workers from seeking the support they need. They may feel pressure to be “strong” and not talk about their problems.


Mental health in the NHS

A recent survey (*) found that approximately half of health workers are experiencing an increased level of stress due to the coronavirus pandemic. YouGov surveyed 996 healthcare workers, and found that the pandemic is having a severe impact on their mental well-being.

The survey also found that one in five staff could quit after the pandemic. They attribute this due to higher levels of burnout, through increased stress levels.


Taking the pressure off of heroes

NHS workers are experiencing more and more challenging and stressful situations. Although we must recognise the amazing and brave things they are doing – we should remind them that even heroes need support. The ‘hero’ tag may make them feel alienated, as they may feel they need to be perfect.

Through offering our respectful support to the NHS workers around us, we can reduce the stigma around seeking mental health support.

The Eaves has been offering FREE weekly counselling sessions to NHS and keyworkers throughout the coronavirus pandemic. Please contact us on 01483 917000 and quote ‘Key Worker’ to access this service.

We are also taking new private referrals, so if you are dealing with emotional difficulties at the moment and would like support, please contact us on 01483 91700 where our team would be happy to source you a suitable therapist.



(*) https://archive.bma.org.uk/collective-voice/policy-and-research/education-training-and-workforce/supporting-the-mental-health-of-doctors-in-the-workforce

(**) https://www.ippr.org/news-and-media/press-releases/covid-19-one-in-five-healthcare-workers-could-quit-after-pandemic-unless-urgent-government-action-is-taken-ippr-warns