QDHP News & Events

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Thank you UQMind. Well said. Whether you are a medical student, DiT or specialist, Queensland Doctors' Health Programme is here for you.While some of us will welcome the gradual easing of restrictions over the next few months, several others may find it difficult to go back to normal after a long period of social isolation. 😰

Due to the fact that many of us haven't experienced something like this type of isolation in the past, it can be difficult to know how we might deal with it. You may start to have feelings of social anxiety or fear of germs — even if it's not something you have experienced before.

Please know that you are not alone in this, and given the circumstances, it is completely normal to have these thoughts and feelings. The absolute best thing to do is seek help, especially when your daily life is being affected. Make an appointment with your GP — they may be able to refer you onto a psychologist that can help you with strategies to reduce anxiety over the coming months. Check out the info below from Queensland Doctors' Health Programme on how to find a GP.

Other things that may help ease anxiety include gradually working your way up to seeing friends/family and being in public places again. Mindfulness & meditation, daily physical activity, good sleep hygiene, and reaching out to loved ones (even over Zoom) can also help with feelings of stress and anxiety.

Learn more about mental health during the easing of restrictions in this article on The Conversation: theconversation.com/coronavirus-lockdown-made-many-of-us-anxious-but-for-some-people-returning-to...

GET A GP - DHASQ 'Docs-4-Students'
The QDHP have recruited GPs with a special interest and additional training in the realm of medical student mental health who have kindly offered their time to support YOU. To make use of this fantastic initiative, visit dhasq.org.au/find-a-health-professional/
If those recommendations don't cover your needs, message us at UQMind and we can help you find one.

Other contacts:
Queensland Doctors' Health Programme 24/7 HELPLINE on 07 3833 4352
UQ CRISIS and counselling line on 1300 851 998
Med Student Support Team at medicine-program.uq.edu.au/medical-student-support
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A new app-based mindfulness program developed by Smiling Mind to support healthcare workers has been designed to provide busy healthcare workers with easily accessible information, resources and practical activities designed to support good mental health and wellbeing.

The program covers:

🔹 mindfulness foundations
🔹 managing stress
🔹 sleep
🔹 thinking clearly
🔹 connection
🔹 resilience

Check it out here: www.smilingmind.com.au/healthcare-worker-program
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QLD doctors and medical students, how are you?

When was the last time someone checked in with you?

In fact, when was the last time you checked in with yourself and really asked - "how am I doing?"

When we're busy, when it feels like there are other people out there with bigger problems than our own, it can be easy to dismiss our own needs, that little voice in our heads that says,

"I need to take a break"

"I need a hug"

"I need someone else to take care of me for a moment"

"I need sleep"

"I need to give myself permission to do some exercise, play the piano, cook something delicious..."

The Queensland Doctors' Health Programme is available for all QLD based doctors and medical students for free, confidential support 24/7 on 07 3833 4352.
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We were sad when the Rural Doctors Association of Queensland - RDAQ conference this year had to be cancelled due to COVID19 restrictions.

However... all is not lost. This year the conference will be held virtually... RDAQ Virtually!

(Does the poster remind you of anything...? ❤️🎄)RDAQvirtually : Online conference, AGM & Policy Forum

Join us for a unique online event

Register now: www.rdaa.com.au/events/event/rdaq-virtually-2020

Members, students & junior doctors FREE registration.
Earlybird non-members FREE registration.
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Queensland rural doctors! Join us for a live online forum this evening, Wednesday 13 May at 7.30pm to explore peer support options for rural & remote doctors in Queensland.

Register here: ⬇️⬇️


Thanks to RDAQ Foundation Rural Doctors Association of Queensland - RDAQ

Australian College of Rural and Remote Medicine (ACRRM) Health Workforce Queensland JCU: College of Medicine and Dentistry GUMS: Griffith University Medicine Society GPTQ RACGP Rural Faculty UQMind
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Thank you nurses today and every day.

#InternationalNursesDayToday we're celebrating nurses all around the world. You have one of the most difficult jobs on this planet and your hard work doesn't go unnoticed. Thank you for all you do to keep the rest of us safe, especially those on the frontline battling the devastating virus. You are our heroes. Each and everyone of you. If you know a nurse or other healthcare professionals, make sure you let them know how valued they are. 💪💙 #InternationalNursesDay
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Do we need to draw up a different graph?

Where are we now?

Australia has done an incredible job so far to contain COVID-19. Our communities and services have worked together to limit transmission, treat those affected and prepare for a situation like that seen across Europe and the US.

And yet... while we seem to have thus far bypassed an overwhelmed health system, we seem to have moved to a stage of cautious optimism, tempered by challenges that were perhaps less anticipated or prepared for, such as the financial and mental health impacts of the changes to GP and Emergency practice (telemedicine, how to manage potential covid patients and fewer presentations with other health conditions) and the pausing of elective surgery.

While the initial anxiety and increased energy phase may have passed, we cannot get complacent. We need to make sure that we are continuing to prioritise the physiological and psychological safety of ourselves and our teams and to build and maintain our emotional wellbeing and connectedness.

Take a moment to reflect on your own emotional fuel gauge. Are you feeling:
🔹 isolated or connected?
🔹 taking care of yourself or bare essentials only?
🔹 doing ok or feeling burned out?
🔹 feeling emotionally regulated or more irritable than usual?

To download Minding Healthcare Workers: Psychological responses of health care workers during the Covid pandemic by Margie Stuchbery go to: dhasq.org.au/coronavirus-covid-19-information/

As always, the Queensland Doctors' Health Programme is available for confidential support on 07 3833 4352.
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In case you missed it - Four Corners asked Australia's health professionals to record video diaries of their experiences facing #COVID19. ... See MoreSee Less

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Just as medical leaders are encouraging the general public with medical concerns not to let the COVID-19 pandemic deter them from seeking the health advice and care they need, we at the Queensland Doctors' Health Programme are encouraging our doctors and medical students to do the same.

Please prioritise your own wellbeing and remember that our confidential helpline is available 24/7 for all things 'doctors' health' and not just Covid-related matters.

07 3833 4352
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LOVE IS ALSO CONTAGIOUS. A campaign from KLH in Canada.

Dr Linda Johannson, ER physician at KLH explains:

"In a time when coming to work can easily be fraught with fear, frustration and worry, while understandable, those emotions can spread unchecked if we let them.

So instead, let’s choose an attitude of openness, understanding, empathy, and love. Let’s let our positive attitudes be contagious!

Ultimately we can choose to create the environment in which we want to work. We’ve made stickers, buttons and downloadable signs to create visual cues to remember that we have that power.

We have morphed a coronavirus particle into an image of love, with little viral hearts sticking out all over it. When you throw love at someone, it'll stick to them!

And you can print out a window sign - (feel free to share it) When your neighbours and passers-by see it, they too will be reminded that love can be just as contagious as fear, and we have the choice of what we want to spread."

And a huge thank you to one of our own QLD doctors who shared this campaign with us. They write:

"Six weeks ago, we watched in horror as worldwide health systems and populations toppled under the novel coronavirus threat. My hospital community and colleagues braced for what was anticipated to be a COVID-19 surge, to follow two weeks behind Europe. Fortunately, we were well protected with stringent public health measures, so this surge did not reach projections.

With the onset of militaristic preparation for the pandemic, along with frenzied media reporting, the feeling on the ground changed rapidly from one of quietly occupied efficiency to open panic and fear, with common sense in absentia. It has been a confusing, fearful and – for some – dangerous time.

This message comes as a counter, and a reminder that the love and compassion we have for each other need not evaporate during these times; indeed, they could otherwise be redoubled - we need love now more than ever before!"

Share, print and spread the love!

Hand-n-Hand COVID-19 Healthcare Workers Peer Support Network AMSA: Australian Medical Students' Association AMA Queensland UQMind GUMS: Griffith University Medicine Society JCUMSA Queensland Health COVID - Aus + NZ Doctors Discuss Adopt a Healthcare Worker Queensland MSSBU Doctors' Health Advisory Service NSW & ACT Victorian Doctors Health Program Tasmanian Doctors Health Program Doctors' Health SA - DHSA Doctors' Health Advisory Service Western Australia
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Overcoming the challenges of COVID-19: Australian Doctors Share their Stories #COVID19 ... See MoreSee Less

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I was optimistic and excited for my first year of medicine. It’s what I’ve wanted to do for a long time. But within a week of starting, I suffered several major losses in my family, my relationships, my health and my beliefs. My world was turned upside down and I was completely unprepared for the grief that followed. It felt like I had been hit by a truck.

That first semester was the most difficult time of my life. I went from being a happy, healthy, confident woman to a shadow of my former self. I lost my appetite, I couldn’t sleep for weeks and I was constantly anxious. Along with this came feelings of hopelessness and depression. All this affected my concentration which meant I was falling behind in my studies and my self-esteem plummeted. I withdrew from family and friends because I felt ashamed of who I’d become. One night, my mind was so exhausted I couldn’t even complete a GIFT for CBL. I convinced myself that I wasn’t capable of being a doctor anymore and considered giving up on my dream. That’s when I hit rock bottom.

After this, I was forced to turn inward and reconsider my values. I started meditating every day, exercising more and prioritising my mental health. I sat through heavy emotions and gave myself time to heal. I was also lucky to have an incredible support system. It took a lot of work to start feeling like myself again. It was messy and painful, but it was also deeply rewarding. It’s now been over 2 years since everything happened and although I still have bad days sometimes, I’m the happiest I’ve ever been with myself.

No matter how tough life gets, trust that things will get better. At my worst, I couldn’t see a light at the end of the tunnel. But I was wrong. These feelings don't last. You may not believe it right now, but you will come out the other side and you will become whole again. In the words of Rilke:

“Let everything happen to you
Beauty and terror
Just keep going
No feeling is final”

- Karen Li

Minds of Medicine (MoM) is a photography project aiming to provide insights into life and medical school, one story at a time. The portraits and captions capture the struggles, successes and daily lives of our peers. If you would like to get involved, please send a Facebook message to the UQMind page!

If you ever feel like you need support, you can access help from the Queensland Doctors' Health Programme (and DHASQ), which provides confidential services for doctors and medical students. Their 24/7 Phone (07 3833 4352) is staffed by a senior clinician. dhasq.org.au/.

Should you ever feel at risk of suicide or self harm, please contact Emergency Services on 000 or Lifeline on 13 11 14.
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Medical Students - How are you travelling?

The lows: Frustrated by changes to your program and placements? Uncertain about the potential impacts on your medical education? Fearful about your own health and safety and that of your family? Isolated from your friends and study partners? Finding it harder to focus on studying? Guilt for feeling bad when "others are having a much harder time of it at the moment"?

The highs: A renewed sense of community? A drive to reach out and support others? Gratitude for your own health and time to reflect and refocus?

If this resonates with you, know that you're not alone. Now more than ever, we encourage you to reach out to your peers, support each other and make sure you're not forgetting to take good care of yourselves.

You can also call the Queensland Doctors' Health Programme on 07 3833 4352 for confidential support.

GUMS: Griffith University Medicine Society
AMSA Mental Health MSSBU SWIM - Supporting Women in Medicine AMSA: Australian Medical Students' Association UQMS UQMind JCUMSA Hand-n-Hand COVID-19 Healthcare Workers Peer Support Network
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With so much #Covid19 information on physician self care, clinical resources and public health guidelines about at the moment, we thought we might take a break from normal programming to offer you this poem by Mary Oliver:


Oh do you have time
to linger
for just a little while
out of your busy

and very important day
for the goldfinches
that have gathered
in a field of thistles

for a musical battle,
to see who can sing
the highest note,
or the lowest,

or the most expressive of mirth,
or the most tender?
Their strong, blunt beaks
drink the air

as they strive
not for your sake
and not for mine

and not for the sake of winning
but for sheer delight and gratitude –
believe us, they say,
it is a serious thing

just to be alive
on this fresh morning
in the broken world.
I beg of you,

do not walk by
without pausing
to attend to this
rather ridiculous performance.

It could mean something.
It could mean everything.
It could be what Rilke meant, when he wrote:
You must change your life.
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Welcome to our newest followers!

The Queensland Doctors' Health Programme provides free and confidential support to all QLD-based doctors and medical students. Call us on 07 3833 4352.

📱What do people call about?
🔹Workplace and study stress
🔹Physical health, personal difficulties and mental health matters
🔹Bullying and harassment
🔹Help finding a GP, specialist or psychologist
🔹Debriefing following clinical incidents, medical errors and complaints
🔹Support when facing medico-legal or mandatory reporting concerns (alongside support from an MDO)

For more information about what we do, download our infographic: bit.ly/2K92PMK or visit our website: dhasq.org.au/

For more information about what to expect when you call our helpline go to our pinned post: bit.ly/2K57X4q

As QLD's peak doctors' health organisation we receive funding from the Medical Board of Australia.

If you would like to make a donation to help us in our work to support QLD's doctors and medical students please contact our office directly: admin@qdhp.org.au
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