Doctors must look after their own mental health

THE mental and physical health of medical students and doctors is an ongoing concern within the profession and for the community. Research and media reports have highlighted that doctors are not immune to depression, anxiety and substance-use disorders, experiencing similar rates to the general population. 

However, doctors have higher rates of suicide and benzodiazepine use, as well as a tendency to self-prescribe antidepressants. Aiming to prevent these issues from impacting on the profession and its work, beyondblue, in collaboration with the medical profession and key stakeholders, has developed the beyondblue National Doctors’ Mental Health Program (bbDMHP). 

The bbDMHP looks at the prevalence of depression and anxiety disorders among Australian medical students and practitioners, and aspires to increase awareness of the symptoms, identify profession-specific risk factors and reduce barriers to seeking help. The program also aims to promote