Mental health issues on the rise in Leicester hospital staff

By Courtney Stevens

The Number of NHS staff in Leicester hospitals who have reported absent due to depression and anxiety has increased since the start of the pandemic. 

Over the pandemic NHS staff have been under a lot of pressure to keep everyone safe and healthy which has led to an increase in depression, anxiety, burnout and other mental health issues. 

Becca McDonald, a third-year nursing student at De Montfort University, said her mental health has suffered during the pandemic: 

“I’ve found my social anxiety is a lot higher now and I’m finding it difficult to adapt back to normal.’ 

“I’ve noticed stress levels increasing drastically since the pandemic with lots of healthcare staff having to take time off due to their mental health or stress.”  

Figures show that between September 2018 and October 2019 there were 1,320 members of staff who reported absent due to mental health issues compared to 1,768 members of staff who reported absent between September 2020 and October 2021. 

Miss McDonald has noticed the impact the pandemic has had on NHS staff: 

“I try to avoid taking days off and I push myself to be productive, saying that, I have had to take one or two days off because of being completely exhausted and I know that I can’t practice safely if I’m not mentally equipped.’ 

“Lots of staff have left their jobs, either because of long covid making them too ill to work in healthcare anymore, or because of the issues that went on during the pandemic causing people to dislike their job and finding it better to leave.”  

Figures also show that there is a difference in the number of men reporting absent compared to the number of women.  

Between September 2018 and October 2019, there were 1,169 women and 151 men who reported absent compared to 1,549 women and 219 men who reported absent between September 2020 and October 2021. 

During the pandemic staff were offered extra support due to the rise of depression and anxiety that they were experiencing.  

40 well-being hubs that were opened to give all health and social care staff access to psychologists. 

Miss McDonald said there is support available to her through the university: 

“The well-being team are incredible, offering six-week blocks of counselling when required.  

“I am also aware of NHS staff being signposted to classes such as meditation or yoga to help those that may benefit from them.”  

Genesis tribute band The Musical Box set to play at De Montfort Hall in Leicester

By Courtney Stevens

The Musical Box performing at one of their shows (Image: publicity picture)

Genesis tribute band The Musical Box are set to play at De Montfort Hall in Leicester on Wednesday, February 8, as part of their global tour The Lamb lies down on Broadway.

The band will be playing all over the UK in February, starting off in York on February 2 and finishing off in Portsmouth on February 18.

The Musical Box are a Canadian tribute band for English Rock band Genesis, re-enacting their performances from the 1970s.

The current line-up includes singer Denis Gagne, guitarist Francois Gagnon, bassist Sebastien Lamothe, keyboardist Ian Benhamou, and drummer Marc Laflamme.

This tour will be re-creating the original band’s 1974 – 1975 show And the light lies down on Broadway, and will be complete with costumes, instruments and lighting.

The band promises a set that will take fans right back to Genesis’ 1970s peak with everything down to the setlists being identical to those played by the original band.

Since The Musical Box’s creation in 1993, they have performed shows across Canada, the US, Europe, and South America.

The band are also the only Genesis band to have received active support and permission from the original group, with members of the band being part of the audience or even appearing on stage with them.

Tickets are available now from

Leicester mental health charity Life Links offers support to students

By Courtney Stevens

Mental health and wellbeing service Life Links has partnered with the students’ union at De Montfort University to offer student support groups every Thursday.

The groups take place every Thursday between 2pm and 3pm in The Pod room which is located in the campus main building.

Each session has a different focus and they teach students self help tools and coping strategies to be able to manage their mental health independently.

The groups are run by two trained recovery workers and are open to all students who may need help with their mental health.

Daisy B, a volunteer coordinator at Life Links, highlighted why it’s important for services like this to be available to people:

“There are long waiting lists across the country for people to access mental health support.

“With our free service, people are not just able to access one-to-one support without joining a waiting list, but they can also access group support and meet like-minded individuals.”

Life Links is aimed at those 18+ who are experiencing poor mental health and help is available through peer support groups, free workshops and courses and one-to-one support.

Kate D, a service volunteer at Life Links, explained why she got involved with the organisation and why she recommends others to get involved too: “I’m planning on becoming a therapist in the future and I wanted to gain the necessary skills and knowledge, while at the same time help those in need of support with their mental health.

“I would recommend other people get involved, especially those pursuing a career in psychology or counselling.

“Volunteering is very rewarding as you can help those in need for four hours a week of your time which can then potentially make a big difference in someone else’s life.”

Information about upcoming Life Links sessions at DMU can be found on the DSU events page

More information about the services available through Life Links and how you can get involved can be found on its website