“While we encourage all doctors and medical students to have their own GP as a first point of contact for any health issue, the reality is some don’t have a regular GP, may be geographically isolated, or perhaps reluctant to discuss their mental health concerns,” Dr Miller said today.
“The availability of a confidential, non-judgmental service that makes it much easier to access mental health support, particularly for those in rural areas, is a very important step forward, particularly with the impact that the COVID-19 crisis is having on frontline healthcare workers.”
Established by Doctors’ Health Services Limited (DrHS), the Drs4Drs Support Service provides crisis support as well as non-urgent mental health support, and complements services provided by the network of state-based doctors’ health advisory services, also funded by DrHS.
DrHS Chair David Brennan said that corporate mental health provider, Converge International, would deliver the Drs4Drs Support Service, deploying mental health professionals who are experienced in helping people work through workplace issues, conflict management, relationship concerns, financial problems, legal matters and lifestyle issues.
“All services funded by DrHS are completely confidential. DrHS does not receive any information that could identify anyone using this service, as we appreciate patient privacy is paramount, and we provide the option of anonymity,” Mr Brennan said.
DrHS is a subsidiary of the AMA, established with funding from the Medical Board of Australia to provide health and wellbeing support to medical students and doctors. The Drs4Drs Support Service is funded by a grant from the Federal Department of Health, allowing participants to have up to three free telehealth counselling sessions.
Doctors and medical students can access the Drs4Drs Support Service by calling 1300 374 377 (1300 DR4 DRS) or visit Drs4Drs.com.au for support resources for the medical profession.
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