World Mental Health Day is on 10 October and to highlight the importance of clinician wellness, the AMA Queensland Council of Doctors in Training (CDT) is launching a campaign to share stories amongst junior doctors and reduce the stigma attached to discussing burnout and mental ill health within our profession.
We are medicine and we are human is the slogan of the campaign designed to show we all dedicate our lives to caring for our patients but, at the end of the day we are only human and this emotionally charged profession can take a toll on us. It is okay to need a break and take time to recharge.
Over the next three weeks, we will be releasing a series of stories from doctors and medical students who detail some of the difficult points of their careers and how they have dealt with this. There are many lessons to learn, the main one being that asking for help and confiding in someone is always the right thing to do - you don't have to white-knuckle these difficult times alone. We have lost several colleagues to suicide this year and it worries me greatly that had these individuals had someone to talk to, things may have turned out differently.
We want to highlight the importance of mental health and wellbeing amongst doctors and remind you that help and support is available when you need it. We also want to highlight some of the systemic issues within medicine that contribute to burnout and poor wellbeing for doctors such as unpaid overtime, bullying and harassment and gruelling training applications and pathways. Have your say in AMA Queensland's 2020 Resident Hospital Health Check survey, which closes 30 September.
AMA Queensland is working daily to try and address these systemic factors in a sustainable way to ensure the mental health of doctors is collectively improved.
Your stories below are a reminder that seeking help can change your life and there is light at the end of the tunnel.
If you need confidential support, please contact Doctors' Health in Queensland on (07)3833 4352 to speak to one of their on-call doctors. For immediate help call lifeline on 13 11 14.
Please keep an eye out for the campaign posts on Facebook and Instagram, as well as our member-only Queensland Doctors' Community (QDC) and AMA Community app. Share these stories to let your colleagues know you understand the struggles and are there for support if needed. We also have a few prize giveaways, so use the hashtag #WeAreMedicine_AMAQ to enter for a chance to win.