The mental health of dental practitioners and students is an integral part of overall wellbeing. Mental health is not only necessary to living a full life, it is vital for you to maintain your own mental health so you can provide good quality care to your patients. There are a range of important elements to maintaining mental health. Read on for tips and resources.
If you are worried about your mental health or the wellbeing of a colleague and would like to talk to someone, call our confidential 24/7 support line on 1800 377 700.
What is mental health?
The World Health Organization defines mental health as: “a state of wellbeing in which every individual realises his or her own potential, can cope with the normal stresses of life, can work productively and fruitfully, and is able to make a contribution to her or his community’’.
Dental Practitioner Support is committed to supporting dental practitioners and dental students to meet the WHO definition of mental health and enhance their quality of life.
Those in the dental profession can be exposed to stress at work or during study, as well as psychological, cognitive and physical demands which may negatively impact mental health.
If you are experiencing a mental health issue, it might affect your ability to competently and safely do your work. This could place you and the public at risk of harm.
Mental health statistics
No one is immune to experiencing a mental health issue. Almost half of the Australian population aged between 16 and 85, will experience a mental illness in their lifetime with 20 percent of adults affected by a mental illness every year. However, less than half of those experiencing a mental illness will access support and treatment (National Mental Health Commission, 2014).
Mental health conditions require the same degree of support and treatment as any health condition.
In Australia, depression and anxiety are the highest presenting mental health issues.