Written by Dr Ross Phillipson
Research has shown that the majority of doctors generally enjoy good physical health. However, there has been concern expressed over many years that the mental health of doctors is not as high as it should be. Sadly, the suicide rate amongst doctors is higher than that of the general population. Suicidal ideation is not uncommon in doctors and medical students at times of high pressure.
In this environment, Doctors’ Health in Queensland (DHQ) which is the new name for the Doctors’ Health Advisory Service (Qld), has been active for over 30 years in seeking to support members of the medical profession. This support has been provided by a 24/7/365 telephone helpline, provided by volunteer senior GP’s who have received extra training in assisting their colleagues. DHQ has also been active in promoting wellness, networking with government agencies and academic institutions, resilience building and facilitating debriefing when required. A panel of Psychiatrists and Psychologists stands ready to assist when needed.