Doctors' mental health in the spotlight for World Family Doctor Day

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As family doctors across the world celebrate World Family Doctor Day today, May 19, the World Organization of National Colleges, Academies and Academic Associations of General Practitioners/Family Physicians (WONCA) is reminding members of the importance of looking after their own health.

The theme of this year’s event is depression and WONCA member organisations will hold a number of events today aimed at raising awareness around mental health concerns. WONCA President, Amanda Howe said we all need to make the public aware that depression is an important and common problem, where people deserve help, and that this need is nothing to be ashamed of.

Howe said there is also a need to remember that we can all be at risk of depression and that the nature of work as family doctors, which can lead to psychological exhaustion and stress-related symptoms, puts members at quite a high risk.

“Take care of yourselves as well as others: ask for help from colleagues, family, and friends if needed; do not blame yourself for things that cannot easily be changed; speak to your own family doctor if the going gets really tough. We can all use a helping hand from time to time,” she said.