Message in GP’s personal tragedy

THE need for doctors to prioritise their wellbeing and seek help has been brought home to a Brisbane GP whose brother took his own life last month after a two-decades-long battle with depression.

Dr John Craven described his younger brother Peter as an extremely empathetic GP to whom patients were drawn. 

“I think, like a lot of GPs, he sometimes found it difficult to draw a line between the work he took home in his brain, what he left in the practice and the genuine worry he had for his patients. I think that made him vulnerable in his own depression,” he said.

He told MO that one of the family’s greatest fears had been that his brother’s illness would eventually be terminal. He hoped for a shift in the way patients with mental illness were treated. 

“I compare it to other illnesses like cancer, and I think of the millions poured into the research there because they have the target of trying to cure