Doctor – and trainee – wellbeing is never far from our minds, and is often in the media. The Queensland Clinical Senate convened a meeting on Health and Wellbeing of the Workforce in May 2019. They noted a clear link between clinician wellbeing and patient safety and quality:
The health outcomes of patients are inextricably linked to the health and wellbeing of clinicians- a healthy, happy workforce is a necessity. Existing programs have helped normalise conversations between colleagues and shift the focus from the isolated individual to include the broader team and organisational context. Leaders visibly value staff and promote psychological safety. Effective interventions range from the very simple to the more complex, but are developed by the collective team and supported by the organisation.
The senate promotes a ‘whole-of-system approach to staff wellbeing’, centered on the following principles and actions (excerpt from Queensland Clinical Senate, Health and Wellbeing of the Workforce – a statement of principles and actions, May 2019):
Your Rural Generalist team has and continues to consider how best we can support you and your wellbeing during training and beyond. We welcome input from anyone interested in sharing their thoughts on what would be most helpful on the ground.
Please contact us if you’d like to contribute and watch this space for further updates throughout the year.
In addition to the QRGP team, there are many resources available to support you during training and beyond.
- Employee Wellbeing – Overview (health.qld.gov.au)
- Employee assistance program (EAP) | Queensland Health Intranet 24/7 Crisis Support Line: 1800 604 640
‘Promotes the health and wellbeing of doctors and medical students across Australia’.
- Doctors Health in Queensland: https://dhq.org.au/ 24/7 Helpline 07 3833 4352
- Getting help – DRS4DRS For urgent mental health support call 1300 374 377 24/7
Providing good care for our patients requires us to first be well. We know that doctors often ignore or delay their own health needs and this is more so in rural and remote practitioners. Access to our own GP can be difficult or impossible. Looking after ourselves and looking out for our colleagues is essential for functional clinical teams. In rural practice there are times when we find ourselves caring for colleagues which can create a complex interaction that many of us are not well trained for.
If you are looking to broaden your understanding of your own health and the health of the medical profession, the free Drs4Drs online learning module is a great resource. Registration for the course is free and it takes about 2 hours to complete.
- Lifeline 24/7 crisis support 13 11 14
- Suicide callback service 24/7 counselling 1300 659 467
- Beyond Blue Health Services Program 24/7mental health services 1300 224 636
- 1800 RESPECT (Domestic Violence Counselling) 1800 737 732
- MensLine – 1300 78 99 78
- Mindspot (mental health screening)- 1800 61 44 31
- Coronavirus Mental Wellbeing Support Line 1800 512 348
- Medical Benevolent Society (NSW/ACT, VIC, QLD, SA) – For financial counselling or assistance
- Black Dog Institute
Mindfulness is a skill that once learnt, can be used all the time whilst doing anything – like washing the dishes, washing your hands, waiting for your computer to turn on. It is a mindset.
Mindfulness Applications (evidence based):
- Smiling mind
- Insight timer
- Healthy Minds Program
- Mindfulness coach
- Sensa Health
The apps can be helpful in getting you into that mindset, but they aren’t the be all and end all.
There are many other ways to train in mindfulness or to be mindful, depending on your interests, time constraints and abilities. Choose an activity that suits you and add them to your toolbox to have ready to go when needed:
- Undertaking courses eg. Mindfulness Works Australia
- Enjoy yoga which teaches mindfulness and breathing, particularly Hatha yoga
- Mindful exercising eg. mindful running programs, pilates etc.
- Creative pursuits like music, creative, arts etc.
- Spending time connecting with others
Other valuable mindfulness resources are available below: