- Your own GP. It cannot be emphasised enough how important it is to find your own GP to discuss all aspects of your health, physical as well as mental. Doctors are notorious for making the worst patients. They tend to self-treat, which can lead to over or under diagnosis. It is important to seek an objective opinion, especially regarding mental health when your own perspective may be a little clouded.
After discussion with your doctor, you may be eligible for a Mental Health Care Plan, which is a government funded initiative that allows you access to 10 Medicare rebatable sessions with a psychologist
- The RACGP offer members three free one-hour sessions with a psychologist, via the GP Support Program. This can be used to make an appointment for face-to-face or telephone counselling during business hours. RACGP members also have access to counselling for traumatic incidents or crisis situations. This service is available 24 hours, seven days a week.
- ACRRM members have complementary access to ACRRM Employee Assistance Program for immediate confidential counselling support 24/7. Phone 1800 818 728 to access this member service.
- The Doctors’ Health Advisory Service (NSW) offers a telephone help line for personal and confidential advice for practitioners and students, and also for colleagues and family members.
- There are several social media groups you may be able to join which can allow you to gain support from your colleagues in a different way. Medicine, and general practice, can sometimes be isolating work but to connect with a group of like-minded people in similar situations can be helpful. These groups include Facebook groups such as Doc to Doc, GPs Down Under, (fathers/caregivers can join too!). These groups can be joined by providing administration with your AHPRA number.
- Dr Julie Chilton is a US Child and Adolescent Psychiatrist who started a movement called Dude, Me too. You can find more here:
- Balint group. A Balint Group is a small support group in which health care professionals discuss cases from their practices with a focus on the clinician-patient relationship.
- If you are in need of acute assistance, please call Lifeline (24-hour crisis phone line) on 131 114 or dial 000.
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