05 Jun #CrazySocks4Docs
Today our staff are donning their craziest socks as part of ‘Crazy Socks 4 Docs’ day. An annual event, the first Friday in June is a day when we pause to reflect on the mental health of doctors and health professionals.
A Beyond Blue study in 2013 sadly showed that doctors report substantially higher rates of psychological distress and suicidal thoughts compared to both the Australian population and other Australian professionals. 1 in 5 doctors have depression, 1 in 4 doctors have thought about suicide, and 1 in 50 have actually tried to end their life.
Just like our patients, doctors are human too. We share the same vulnerabilities, and sadly the stigma around having a mental illness is still too strong in our community.
The COVID-19 pandemic has been a difficult and challenging time for everyone. Some people are starting to feel depressed or anxious for the first time in their lives. Others who already had depression or an anxiety disorder have found isolation especially hard and are struggling right now. Feeling vulnerable and acknowledging that you need support is hard, but we’d like to remind you that as your GP, we are here to help you. Telehealth and phone appointments with your trusted GP are still available, and if we need to see you in person, we will organise to do that safely.
In the meantime, here are a few tips that help to keep us all well.
– Keep active! Research shows that daily physical activity helps to lift mood, decrease anxiety and improve sleep.
– Eat well! A diet with plenty of vegetables, fruits and legumes helps to improve wellbeing.
– Reduce alcohol, cigarettes and other drugs. Whilst often tempting as a coping strategy, alcohol and drugs change the way our brains and bodies work. They often make existing problems worse, and make recovery harder.
– Prioritise getting enough sleep, and a good sleep! Avoid the use of devices in the bedroom, and for at least 30 minutes before bed.
– Stay in touch with family and friends. Social connectivity is so important. Whilst this may be more difficult due to physical distancing at the moment, phone calls and video calls are a great way to stay connected.