4 February 2021

Child Bereavement UK has been funded by BMA Giving to produce a short guidance film aimed at helping doctors maintain their personal resilience and wellbeing while working in the face of loss, death, and grief. The film focuses on the impact the Covid-19 pandemic has on the mental wellbeing of health professionals at a time when many are struggling with anxiety, burnout, depression, and PTSD.

The BMA’s study Covid-19: analysing the impact of coronavirus on doctors surveyed nearly 7,800 doctors from England, Northern Ireland and Wales. It revealed that almost 60% of doctors say they are now suffering from some form of anxiety, burnout and depression, with 46% saying their condition has worsened since the start of the pandemic.  67% say that their levels of fatigue and exhaustion are higher than normal as they tackle the second wave and the growing backlog of care, on top of the usual winter demand. Additionally, a study by King’s College London[i] showed that nearly half of Intensive Care Unit staff are likely to meet the threshold for PTSD, severe anxiety or problem drinking during the pandemic. The increased risk of moral injury as a result of dealing with the challenges of the Covid-19 pandemic has also been identifiedii.

Child Bereavement UK helps children and young people (up to age 25), parents, and families, to rebuild their lives when a child dies or when a child grieves. The charity also provides bereavement training and has trained more than 135,000 professionals including doctors, nurses, and midwives, helping them to provide the best possible care to bereaved families. During the pandemic, Child Bereavement UK has been providing free training for doctors via webinar, funded by BMA Giving, to help them manage their health and wellbeing.

Now Child Bereavement UK has launched For doctors: managing your wellbeing, a short guidance film presented by Dr Su Laurent, MBBS FRCPCH, Medical Advisor to the charity. In the film, Dr Laurent addresses the factors that increase the risk of mental health problems in doctors and the impact of the pandemic, signs of stress and burnout, and individual and organisational strategies to build and maintain resilience.

Dr Su Laurent said: 

Doctors have been immersed in suffering, loss and grief on an unimaginable scale whilst working under extreme pressures. The impact of witnessing death, dying and grief in the workplace cannot be underestimated. Stress should not be something doctors simply accept as an occupational hazard. Recognising when it is impacting on your work and your quality of life is not a sign of failure but of strength.”

Dr David Wrigley, BMA council deputy chair said: 

"BMA Giving is delighted to have supported Child Bereavement UK in producing this film to help support doctors’ wellbeing whilst working in the face of loss, grief and bereavement. We hope that the film will provide a timely and valuable resource for doctors and medical students, as well as the patients and communities they serve at this difficult time."

To watch the short guidance film click here

To find out more about the charity’s training, resources and Helpline for health professionals, go to our website.


[1] The mental health of staff working in intensive care during COVID-19 – Greenberg et al.

ii Managing mental health challenges faced by healthcare workers during covid-19 pandemic Greenberg et al.