New free mental health service for doctors

Paul Hayes

9/06/2020 12:35:19 PM

The pandemic has taken a considerable toll on people’s mental health – and Australia’s healthcare professionals are not immune.

Stressed GP on the phone
The new telehealth service is completely confidential.

Doctors and medical students across Australia can now access Drs4Drs Support Service, a free and confidential telehealth service established by Doctors’ Health Services (DrHS).
The service provides crisis and non-urgent mental health support, and is designed to complement services provided by a network of state-based doctors’ health advisory services that are also funded by DrHS.
According to DrHS Chair David Brennan, corporate mental health provider Converge International will deliver service.
‘Converge International … will use a team of psychologists, counsellors, and social workers who are experienced in providing support to medical professionals,’ he said.
‘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.’
The new Drs4Drs Support Service follows the recent announcement of The Essential Network (TEN), launched by Federal Health Minister Greg Hunt on 7 May.
Developed by the Black Dog Institute as part of a $3 million mental health support program for frontline health workers, TEN connects practitioners with critical mental health and wellbeing services to better cope with the stress of the pandemic.
‘The stresses [GPs] have been under are real and absolute; obviously there’s the stresses and the risk of their own health but, above all else, the care and concern for their patients,’ Minister Hunt said.
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