Coronavirus disease (COVID-19)
wellbeing support for primary health care workers.
Page last updated: 1:15pm, 10 July 2020
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 shortage of personal protective equipment has been extremely stressful. Thank you for your patience and be assured we are continuing to advocate on your behalf for increased access to the national stockpile.
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.
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.
Nurse & Midwife Support: A 24/7 national support service for nurses and midwives that provides confidential advice and referral. Call 1800 667 877.
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 careinmind.com.au to access free support. No referral is needed.
Other mental health and wellbeing support options for primary care workers include:
- Black Dog Institute: TEN app and essential network for health professionals
- Beyond Blue: How health care workers can support themselves and each other
- Beyond Blue: Coronavirus Mental Wellbeing Support Service or call 1800 512 348
- Head to Health: COVID-19 Support
- The Pandemic Kindness Movement: Created by clinicians across Australia and backed by Safer Care Victoria
- THIS WAY UP: Free practical online tools from the Department of Health and St Vincent's Hospital Sydney
- Smiling Mind have released a special program for health care workers with support from the Australian Government. It provides resources to help you look after your mental health during the pandemic including tools for managing stress, improving sleep and building resilience. Access the program by downloading the Smiling Mind app for Apple or Android.
- Phoenix Australia has developed some useful mental health tip sheets to support health practitioners and community members.