Moral Distress


“Moral distress arises when one knows the right thing to do, but institutional constraints make it nearly impossible to pursue the right course of action” (Jameton, 1984).

Within the health and social care sector, we place huge emphasis on doing our job well and doing the right thing. However, increased pressures sometimes mean this is difficult or impossible to achieve. This can compromise our moral integrity and result in experiences of moral distress. Whilst moral distress can occur at any time, it is more likely to occur during times of crisis, such as during the COVID-19 pandemic. You may experience a range of feelings when in a state of moral distress, including anger, a sense of meaninglessness, guilt and isolation. You may also experience various physical symptoms or notice yourself behaving differently.

Can we help you?


The Healthier Together Support Network (HTSN) can offer advice and support on a range of issues. The challenges affecting your wellbeing may be unrelated to COVID-19; however, you may still benefit from a conversation with our team. The support offered by the HTSN is confidential and separate from mental health and Occupational Health Services.

Useful resources


Moral distress wellbeing explainer

View our short wellbeing explainer videos.