Finding the time to look after yourself as a trainee doctor, doctor or consultant can seem impossible amongst shifts, meetings, and personal life demands. However, the impact on this staff groups' emotional wellbeing has never been more important than now, during the Covid-19 pandemic.
The British Medical Association reported that 1 in 5 doctors feel they don't have access to support they need, with 45% suffering from depression, anxiety, stress, burnout or other mental health conditions relating to, or made worse by, the pandemic. Download the full report here.
Have a look at the resources below to help you look after yourself.
Qualified doctors and consultants
The British Medical Association (the trade union and professional body for doctors in the UK) offers counselling and peer support to all doctors and medical students (regardless of BMA membership), plus their partners and dependents. Call them on 0330 123 1245 to discuss their free and confidential service.
The Royal Medical Benevolent Fund provides support for doctors (at any stage of their career) and their families, ranging from financial issues to a befriending service for those feeling isolated.
For addiction specific support, visit the Sick Doctors Trust, an independent organisation recognised by the BMA, GMC, The Practitioner Health Programme and The Medical Council on Alcohol that help doctors, medical students and dentists.
Doctors in Distress offer confidential, facilitated support groups with the aim of reducing suicide rates amongst healthcare professionals.
Junior Doctor Wellbeing Checklist this checklist looks at the mental wellbeing of doctors and helps guide towards support.
Trainee doctors have to cope with many different unique challenges, including academic pressure, financial worries, and social changes. Placements are likely to have been disrupted, and due to campuses being closed, learning has moved online further increasing isolation away from peers. As the State of the Nation report highlights, this can have a marked impact on mental health. The report found students presenting with sleep difficulties increased 161%. Those presenting with health anxiety 106%, and students who have faced trauma 74%. These figures highlight that it is vital to look after yourself, your peers, or anyone you know who is studying.
- The Trainee Doctor and Dentist's Support Service is a psychoeducation and support service that offers a range of interventions to support trainees. It is hosted by the NHS Practitioner Health Service.
- For Counselling advice specifically for students, visit this NHS website.
- This NHS page has a comprehensive overview about accessing medical care as a student, including mental and physical health support, seasonal wellbeing support, and self-help tips.
- If you are experiencing stress as a student, this NHS site has information about the signs of stress, things to do to help you cope with stress, and when to seek help. You can also visit our page on Stress, which includes a quiz and self-assessment tool, apps and more.
- As a medical or dental student, you can apply for a bursary in the final years of your course to help you manage your financial wellbeing. Information about the bursary can be found here.
- Are you struggling with revision for an upcoming exam? Have a look at these tips from the NHS for exams.
- Download this research report that investigated the impact of Covid-19 on Junior doctors and the positive impact peer support initiatives can have.
- Read this blog from NHS England for information about what kind of help is available to you, what to do if you are in crisis, and other helpful resources.
- This Student Health App is designed to help make informed decisions about your mental and physical health, and includes self-care tips and information to help navigate local support and service access.
Video: Wellbeing support for doctors and medical students
The British Medical Association has a free, confidential helpline that is open 24/7 for all doctors and medical students. Call 0330 123 1245 or visit their wellbeing support website.
If you would like to speak to one of the team about support that is available, click the button below.
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