As doctors, helping our patients stay healthy is our top priority. It’s important to do the same for our own physical and mental health and wellbeing.
The figures around doctors’ mental health and resilience continue to be alarming. New Zealand has a tragic record of suicide, depression and anxiety—research suggests these rates are higher in RMOs than in their age-matched peers.
In recent years, at least two RMOs lost their lives to suicide (and those are just the two we know about).
The job we do can be highly rewarding, but day-to-day it can take us to dark, sad and stressful places. We need the strength to move on, the peer support to pull us through, and the flexibility in our workplaces and training programmes to give us space and time to work things out.
Not all stress is negative (and it is sometimes necessary), but the compounding effect of many internal and external stressors can seem overwhelming.
Our first step is to ensure that the barriers to accessing and asking for help are low. We try and do this for our patients and should try just as hard to do this for our colleagues.
Maintain your health and wellbeing so you continue feeling good. There are lots of simple things you can do to stay mentally and physically well. Check out some of the suggestions on these pages
Some stress is normal and, in some cases, necessary. Chronic stress is not normal and can negatively affect your health and wellbeing. Get to know your warning signs and have a look at the options for help and support on these pages.
Don’t suffer in silence—ask for help. And if you believe that one of your colleagues is struggling, speak up. We try to do this for our patients, it’s the least we can do for ourselves and our colleagues.
As well as the info on this site, check out: