COVID-19: Self care

Wellbeing support for primary health care workers during the COVID-19 pandemic.

Page last updated: 10:00am, 12 July 2021

We thank all our general practice, pharmacy and other primary health care professionals and staff for their dedication, resilience and ingenuity in adapting to the challenges of the pandemic and public anxiety.

We know that the vaccine rollout has been extremely stressful. Thank you for your patience and be assured we are continuing to advocate on your behalf for improvements to the rollout in general practice.

Most importantly, we want you to be sure to take care of yourselves. Black Dog Institute explains why self-care planning is critical during the pandemic. This includes you. So, please make time to care for yourself and to debrief regularly with colleagues.

In addition to the resources below, there is more mental health support available for you and your patients.

  • For GPs and medical students

    The HealthPathways Melbourne Clinician Self-Care pathway is available to support GPs.

    The Royal Australian College of General Practitioners has a range of supports especially for doctors including:

    • RACGP GP Support Program: a free and confidential 24/7 psychological support service. Call 1300 361 008.
    • DRS4DRS: Doctors and medical students can also access support 24/7 from senior GPs and counsellors via the website and the Victorian helpline: 03 9280 8712.
    • DRS4DRS also have a series of five-minute guides on topics including compassion fatigue, burnout and many more.

    The Australian Medical Association Victoria’s Peer Support Service is available every day of the year from 8:00am to 10:00pm on 1300 853 338. The principle of the Peer Support Service is doctors supporting doctors and the service is available to all doctors and medical students in Victoria and Tasmania. You can remain anonymous and your call is confidential.

    The Victorian Doctors Health Program will continue to be available 24/7 to all medical students and doctors in Victoria and Tasmania throughout the COVID-19 pandemic. Please call (03) 9280 8738. The Program will be using teleconferencing and videoconferencing for all consultations during this time.

    Black Dog Institute’s Mental Health Community of Practice is running interactive online mental health sessions for GPs. Participants will have the opportunity to explore challenges faced in practice and provide peer support to others who may be experiencing similar issues. Participants must be members of the Black Dog Institute Mental Health Community of Practice but membership is free. Join here.

    Protecting your mental health during the pandemic will keep you functioning at your peak.

  • For nurses and midwives

  • For all health care workers

    HeadtoHelp mental health services are available to Victorians of all ages. The HeadtoHelp intake team can quickly connect you with the right mental health support.

    Our CAREinMIND Wellbeing Support Service offers free 24/7 telephone or online counselling to people living, working or studying in the North Western Melbourne Primary Health Network region. If you, one of your patients or someone you know is experiencing anxiety, grief, loss, sadness or stress, call 1300 096 269 or visit to access free support. No referral is needed.

    Other mental health and wellbeing support options for primary care workers include: