Skip navigation
Skip navigation
You are using an outdated browser. Please upgrade your browser.
Michael Rosen supporting ShinyMind

Read the poem in full below. Nurses, and poet and author Michael Rosen, are available for interview

Download video of Michael reading poem

Amid reports that more than 40,000 nurses have left the NHS in the past year largely due to stress, acclaimed author and poet, Michael Rosen, has written a brand new poem dedicated to hard-working nurses, midwives, nursing associates and healthcare support workers.

The poem comes as Mr Rosen today (17th November) helps launch a new app, ShinyMind, aimed at supporting the mental health and overall wellbeing of the nursing community.

Independent research, polling 400 nurses, midwives, nursing associates, and healthcare support workers, using ShinyMind, revealed that 94% ‘felt better’ as a result of using it, with the average improvement in wellbeing standing at 117%. Furthermore, 46% felt it had improved their productivity.

NHS England and Improvement seconded nursing retention and liaison lead, Karen Storey, to support the development of the app, helping to engage nurses at all levels in co-designing the nursing version of ShinyMind.

Speaking at the launch, Mr Rosen said: “Nurses are the backbone of the NHS and literally saved my life and continued to do so when I was discharged from hospital and finally had the courage to read all of their notes to me, written while I was in an induced coma.

“As is detailed in my book, Many Different Kinds of Love, the compassion and empathy these unsung heroes have are truly outstanding. I can’t thank them enough.

“It is my absolute honour to pen and recite this specially commissioned piece dedicated to nurses at the launch of ShinyMind. Hopefully, it will give them a small glimpse as to why they are so important to me and millions of others around the country.

“I believe that the ShinyMind app will be a great source of information, guidance, and support for nurses and I really hope they download it to help improve their wellbeing and continue to save lives.”

Senior nursing figures from across England are backing ShinyMind, founded by psychotherapist, Rebecca Howard. They include Professor Gemma Stacey, director of policy at the Florence Nightingale Foundation, Queens Nurse, Dr. Joan Myers, OBE and Professor Steve Hams, MBE, chief nursing officer at North Bristol NHS Trust.

Rebecca Howard said: “There is no denying that nurses are facing some very tough challenges, especially as we head into winter, and there isn’t a magic wand we can wave to remove these, however, there is much we can do to support these critical workers.

“I’ve spent over five years co-creating and testing ShinyMind in collaboration with the NHS and its nursing community across England, based on their feedback and what they tell us, will help support their wellbeing. It’s great to finally share this trusted, evidence based resource with the nurses who do so much for us all in the face of extraordinary challenges.

“ShinyMind aims to help nurses better cope with the demands they face on a daily basis. It also provides resources for professional needs such as masterclasses on assertiveness and voice plus CPD and reflective supervision.

“I’d also like to thank Michael for supporting the launch of ShinyMind and for taking the time to pen this wonderful new piece as an ode to the nursing profession we all know and love.”

ShinyMind is gifting the app to all NHS nurses, midwives, nursing associates and healthcare support workers in England. They can download it here: or here:


Media contact: Nicola Williamson at McBryde & Co on 07581 330253 or email

‘This is you, you’re looking at you’ by Michael Rosen

This is you.
You’re looking at you.

Look closely.

Listen to the breathing.
Is it calm?
Or is there a bit of a gasp
or a snatch in there?

What about the walk?
Watch the walk.
In control, is it?
The feet roll from heel to toe
do they?

What next?
How about the eyes?
Look closely at the eyes.
Eyes tell you a lot.
The skin round the eyes.
Is it tight?
More on one side than the other?
And is that a frown?
Is it always there
or can it smooth out?

This is you.
You’re looking at you.

Now what comes next is harder.
See if you can notice any part of you
that’s tight, taut,
a part you that you’re holding
tighter and tauter
than it should be
and you don’t know why:
a shoulder maybe
one side of your neck?
Is there anyway that can be looser?

This is you
You’re looking at you.

Now this is difficult.
We’re going in.
What about sleep?
Do you sleep through the night?
Or do you lie awake in the middle of the night
and you don’t know why?
What do you think about?
Does the day before
come in and sit there keeping you awake?
Does tomorrow
come in and sit there keeping you awake?
Have you ever talked to someone
about what keeps you awake?
You could, you know.
Sometimes, talking about it
scares off the things that keep you awake.

This is you
You’re looking at you.

Are there things you could do
which would look after you?
Places you could go
People you could see
Shows you could watch
Things you could do.
What are they?
Shut your eyes.
Imagine you’re doing them.
Imagine you’re doing them.
Imagine you’re doing them.

Have you ever tried ways
of expressing what you feel?
What would you draw?
What would you write?
How would you move?
Imagine you’re doing them
Imagine you’re doing them
Imagine you’re doing them

And you know why I’m asking you
to ask yourself all these questions
don’t you?
It’s for that old, old reason:
if you don’t look after you
you can’t look after others.

This is you.
You’re looking at you.

Notes to editor

Nurses, midwives and healthcare support workers make up the largest proportion of the NHS (560,000).
More than 40,000 nurses have left the health service in the past year according to official data examined by the Nuffield Trust.
The data gathered from ShinyMind will inform the largest study into nurse mental health and wellbeing in England.

After being admitted to hospital with COVID-19 in March 2020, Michael Rosen spent months on the wards: six weeks in an induced coma, and many more weeks of rehab and recovery as nursing staff helped save his life, then got him back on his feet.
Throughout Michael's stay in intensive care, a notebook lay at the end of his bed, where the nurses who cared for him wrote letters of hope and support.
He’s published these notes in his book, Many Different Kinds of Love which has helped showcase the highly skilled, safety critical and compassionate care of nursing staff.
In June 2022, the Royal College of Nursing (RCN) Council made the exceptional decision to award an Honorary Fellowship to Michael Rosen.

About ShinyMind
Born out of proven science and life-changing results, ShinyMind is a unique evidence-based mental health and wellbeing app co-created with The NHS Walton Centre, one of the UK’s most respected specialist neurological NHS Trusts and later NHS nurses, midwives, and healthcare support workers in England plus a senior nursing secondment from NHS England and Improvement.

ShinyMind has been co-created with the NHS, involving nurses, midwives and healthcare support workers, and its evidence-based approach to wellbeing has been proven to increase positivity among staff, empowering them to understand and manage their emotions and reactions and in turn, help them manage stress more effectively and improve their wellbeing.

ShinyMind is also now being used in the NHS to support patients with anxiety and depression as a ‘Wellbeing prescription’

Key stats
Independent research in a specialist NHS Trust has confirmed that ShinyMind improves workforce retention and efficiency:
Employee Turnover - 3% vs. 18% (ShinyMinders vs. Non-app users)
Staff Absence - 3% vs. 6% (ShinyMinders vs. All staff)
94% felt ShinyMind had helped them feel better
77% more able to manage own mental health and wellbeing
46% felt they were more productive
Research has shown that patients with a diagnosis of depression and anxiety (The GAD general) showed how ShinyMind positively impacted their recovery:
General Anxiety Disorder Score improvement of 17% in 6 weeks
28% of people recorded improvement in life satisfaction in 6 weeks

This press release was distributed by ResponseSource Press Release Wire on behalf of ShinyMind in the following categories: Entertainment & Arts, Health, Medical & Pharmaceutical, Public Sector, Third Sector & Legal, for more information visit