It’s not just in Australia that doctors face challenges to both their health and accessing health care. This recent report from the BMA details similar findings in the UK.

Apr 29, 2019 | Doctors' Health in the News

Key principles to improving mental health among doctors and medical students from the report:

Building a supportive culture

– Valuing the NHS workforce: promoting shared values, fostering a sense of fulfilment and enjoyment at work, involving staff in mental health policy design and implementation, offering adjustments (time off, reduced hours)
– Preventing the cause of ill-health: reducing risks and pressures, fostering a no-blame environment
– Raising mental health awareness: addressing the stigma around accessing support services, normalising and encouraging help-seeking behaviour, offering education/training opportunities to improve awareness, creating mental health champions
– Offering support: recognising and providing support for potentially stressful events/situations (traumatic incidents, career transitions), training supervisors/educators to help signpost to services

Enhancing access to support

– Improving awareness of services: promoting services regularly, encouraging the use of services, providing clear guidance on support procedures
– Meeting service user needs: providing access to or signposting to mental health support services, addiction support services and occupational health support, ensuring any services offered provide timely, confidential and flexible support
– Providing spaces to rest: ensuring staff have access to areas where they can have refreshments, speak with colleagues, reflect on experiences

Encouraging self-care and peer support

– Self-care: valuing and maintaining one’s mental health, acknowledging support available to you for support
– Peer support: recognising ill-health in colleagues and offering support, understanding the difficulties colleagues face and being alert to signs of mental health problems, fostering a collegiate and inclusive environment

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