Caring for yourself
During events such as the current coronavirus situation, additional pressure may be placed on GPs and practice staff as frontline workers through increased patient attendance to the practice, responding to fear and anxiety amidst the community and staying up to date as the situation evolves.
It is important during such times that GPs and practice staff take time to care for themselves and take the opportunity to debrief with colleagues. If you require additional support, services are available, specifically developed for doctors.
The Essential Network (TEN) for frontline workers
This new online e-mental health hub
, developed by the Black Dog Institute, connects frontline healthcare workers with services to cope with the stress of the ongoing pandemic.
You can also access support via the DRS4DRS website and state/territory based helplines. DRS4DRS is an independent program providing confidential support and resources to doctors and medical students across Australia, by doctors. Confidential phone advice is available 24/7 for any doctor or medical student in Australia via each state/territory helpline and referral service.
RACGP GP Support Program
Should you need support, don't hesitate to contact the RACGP GP Support Program. This is a free and confidential psychological support service available to all members, delivered by LifeWorks by Morneau Shepell. Access the service by calling 1300 361 008 (24 hours/7 days).
RACGP Wellbeing support calendar
The RACGP has developed a Wellbeing support calendar. This July, the calendar highlights how you can focus on incorporating the things that bring you joy each day.
COVID-19 mental health resources
Providing psychological support to your patients
Completing Mental Health Skills Training online
Currently the only available activities to complete this education are by completing a modular pathway. This means you must complete both a Core Module, and a Clinical Enhancement Module.
You can choose to complete the Core Module through two options:
The only Clinical Enhancement Module available is through Think GP
Once both these activities are completed, please contact the General Practice Mental Health Standards Collaboration (GPMHSC) on 03 8699 0556 to ensure your Provider number is on file. This will enable the report of your completion to Medicare. Medicare advise four to six weeks processing time. Completion of these activities will make you eligible to access the higher rebate numbers 2715 and 2715 (and equivalent non-VR and telehealth numbers) for the preparation of a Mental Health Treatment Plan.
Other Training Providers are working to deliver their activities through distance learning.
Completing Focussed Psychological Strategies Skills Training online
Completing Focussed Psychological Strategies Skills Training and registering with Medicare will enable GPs the eligibility to deliver treatment to patients themselves, rather than referring to another health professional. It provides eligibility to access the equivalent item number 2721, 2725, 2727, 2729.
Currently RACGP Rural runs education in batch enrolment, the next available dates are:
Activity 183518 - Accessible Focussed Psychological Strategies Skills Training
For more information contact: Chantelle Vonarx, T: 07 3456 8967, E: firstname.lastname@example.org. Following this you should complete the application form to register and submit to the GPMHSC.
Equivalent telehealth item numbers can be found on the GPMHSC website: Telehealth consultations