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The Practitioner Health Matters Programme (PHMP) has witnessed a 50 per cent increase in the number of presentations so far this year compared to the same period in 2020, the recent IMO AGM heard.
Dr Ide Delargy, Medical Director, PHMP, revealed the figures as she discussed the impact of the pandemic on the mental health of doctors.
The independent service provides free, confidential care and support to healthcare professionals and is funded by representative bodies and organisations.
“We have seen an increase in the number of presentations in the first quarter of this year,” Dr Delargy told the AGM, which took place on 17 April.
“I guess what Covid has done is expose faultlines that existed pre-Covid, those faultlines were both personal and also issues of the system.”
She noted that people working in the profession with underlining vulnerabilities in the area of mental health have had to deal with the additional stress of the pandemic.
“The pressures and demands that Covid has put on individuals… for some it has pushed them over the line…particularly those who have existing problems,” she said.
“But many of these issues have existed pre-pandemic. We really need to get a grip on that in terms of the demands, and the work hours, lack of breaks…lack of additional personal.”
She said that “one of the key messages that we need to get out, is that there is help there, there is help available…it’s confidential, safe, it’s free of charge, it’s supported by the profession for the profession….you have nothing to fear coming forward.”
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