24 February 2023
Suicidal ideation in Australian dental practitioners
A new research paper by the eviDent Foundation and University of Melbourne on suicidal ideation in Australian dental practitioners highlights the stressful nature of dental practice, and the importance of practitioners understanding and taking care of their mental health.
One in 6 Australian dental practitioners reported thoughts of suicide in the past 12 months. And 5.6% reported ever making an attempt to take their life. These are generally at levels higher than the Australian population: 1.9 to 2.7% thoughts of suicide in the previous 12 months for the general population and 10 to 11% for doctors; and 2.1 to 4.4% prior suicide attempts for the general population and 1.6 to 3.3% for doctors.
The prevalence of mental health conditions was high – 25% experiencing burnout, 11.5% with a current diagnosis of depression, 12.9% with a current diagnosis of anxiety disorder, 32% with moderate-severe psychological distress and 59.4% with minor-severe non-psychotic psychiatric morbidity.
Matt Hopcraft writes, "It is vital that we reduce the stigma associated with mental health through advocacy and education to ensure practitioners can seek the appropriate support they need. Improving mental health of dental practitioners is important for their wellbeing, patient outcomes and public health."
The full text article is available here: https://lnkd.in/g2atT73p
We encourage our colleagues to please seek help and encourage others to also seek support if experiencing any issues of anxiety, depression, burnout or thoughts of suicide. There is a wide range of confidential services available:
Lifeline Australia – 13 11 14
The Essential Network Black Dog Institute
Dental Practitioner Support - 1800 377 700
Beyond Blue – 1300 224 636
ADAVB member assistance program, LifeWorks.