Festive spirit eluding the young

AMA Council of General Practice chair Dr Brian Morton said the whirlwind of activity in the lead-up to Christmas was a good advertisement for group practice.

“It can be a very hectic time for GPs, especially those in solo practice,” he said.

“It’s important to take the time – if you feel irritable and tired – to step back and use those coping skills you have developed, and to remember the bigger picture.”

Contributing to the rush of patients as the holidays loom are the inevitable stresses that go along with the season – stresses that many young people can’t avoid, which was obvious in feedback to the inaugural headspace Christmas Survey.

The survey asked 500 young people aged 12–25 how they felt about the Christmas period. One in three said it made them feel worse than usual, while 40% of those aged 18–25 and 20% of under-18s said it decreased their happiness.

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