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Sep 14, 2021

Mental Health Support for Healthcare Professionals

Casilda Bowman

COVID-19 has impacted the mental health of many Belizeans who are struggling to survive economically and physically from the toll of the pandemic. But we sometimes forget about healthcare professionals who have for the past eighteen months been working around the clock to provide the much-needed service needed during the pandemic. There is a level of trauma associated with the profession, especially for nurses, who stand witness to the deaths associated with COVID-19 and are sometimes victims themselves of the virus. So we asked what level of support is provided for these frontline workers during these tough times.


Casilda Bowman, Head Nurse, COVID Unit, K.H.M.H.

“She is (gasping), she is going, she’s dying…do you understand the level of trauma that is occurring by just us watching that?”


Marleni Cuellar

“Do you get access to mental health services?”


Casilda Bowman

“We are looking into that. Me, Doctor Bradley, Doctor Cruz – we got together and we recognize that we need help. I am not even going to lie to you. I can see emotional nurses. So how do we handle stress? It’s two ways. We get very emotional or we get very aggressive and these are all that I am seeing. And so because I am seeing them – I specialized in mental health; I did psychiatry – and so I was able to recognize it very early and so we came together to see how we can help these nurses because we need help.


Melissa Diaz-Musa

Dr. Melissa Diaz-Musa, Deputy Regional Health Manager, Central Health Region

“A lot of times, we make the assumption that because we are healthcare workers, we have a lot of access to different areas of support. We do have our mental health department, we do have our counselors that we can also access, but our health educators help to go into facilities, do a lot of health education with how to take care of yourself, we have nutritionists available at most of the facilities as well. We have wellness week coming up where health educators are doing information about nutrition and about wellness. So basically there is no set program that we have persons going to at this point. Really and truly, we don’t have a lot of time. Our day is taken up by the amount of persons that we are serving. But we do have that access and that ability to seek out help is needed.”

Viewers please note: This Internet newscast is a verbatim transcript of our evening television newscast. Where speakers use Kriol, we attempt to faithfully reproduce the quotes using a standard spelling system.

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