Natural disasters and pandemics can impact all members of your practice team in many ways. GPs and practice staff may experience:
- firsthand stress and trauma, as well as second-hand trauma from patients
- sleep disturbance
- denial and distress
- physical injury from the event
- viruses and disease.
GPs could look at ways to optimise their own physical and mental health to be prepared for an emergency. This could include ensuring they have their own GP and/ or defining clear boundaries around work/life balance.
RACGP GP Support Program
The RACGP GP Support Program offers free, confidential specialist advice to GPs to assist them in coping with professional and personal stressors impacting areas such as mental health and wellbeing, work performance and personal relationships.
The service is available to all RACGP members who are registered medical practitioners at locations across Australia, including in regional and remote areas. Clinicians are Australian Health Practitioners Regulation Agency (Ahpra) registered psychologists and Australian Association of Social Workers (AASW) registered social workers with at least three years’ clinical experience. This service is delivered by LifeWorks.
Appointments for face-to-face or telephone counselling during business hours can be made by calling 1300 361 008 (office hours 8.30 am – 6.00 pm, Monday to Friday) and via the same number for 24-hour/7-day-a-week crisis counselling.
The RACGP website also has a range of resources available on the GP wellbeing webpage to assist GPs in taking care of their own health and safety, as well as responding to patient aggression and sexual harassment.
DRS4DRS provides independent, confidential health and wellbeing support to GPs and medical students, including providing online resources and referral services.
Confidential phone advice is available 24-hour/7-days-per-week for any doctor or medical student in Australia via each state/territory helpline and referral service.
|Australian Capital Territory
|02 9437 6552
|New South Wales
|02 9437 6552
|08 8366 0250
|07 3833 4352
|08 8366 0250
|1800 991 997
|03 9280 8712
|08 9321 3098
The Essential Network (TEN) for Health Professionals
This online e-mental health hub, developed by the Black Dog Institute, connects frontline healthcare workers with services to help manage burnout and maintain good mental health.
CRANAplus Bush Support Service
CRANAplus’ Bush Support Services provides a free and confidential 24-hour/7-day-a-week telephone counselling service for rural and remote health practitioners. The service is staffed by psychologists, including two Aboriginal psychologists. CRANAplus membership is not required to access the service.
To access the CRANAplus Bush Support Service, phone their support team on 1800 805 391.
Community support services
Other support services available include: