Prioritising Mental Health as a Dental Professional – Mental Health Awareness Month 2023 

It is important to acknowledge that you are among the most vulnerable to mental health disorders. Depression, anxiety, and the negative effects of stress are all common conditions experienced by those in the industry. Although mental health used to be considered a taboo subject within the field, the discussion of mental well-being is now welcomed.

 

According to NHS England , 612,879 patients were in contact with mental health services at the end of July 2022 with 22,839 having an open hospital spell at the end of July 2022, meaning they were occupying a bed in a mental health hospital or had a bed open for them as a part of an ongoing period of leave.

 

You are susceptible to mental health disorders, but there are steps you can take to minimise stress and improve your overall well-being. One key factor is creating an empowering work environment that fosters open communication and prohibits negative talk and gossip. Another critical step is taking control of one’s work schedule by taking frequent breaks, evaluating workload, and adjusting schedules as necessary.

 

In addition to managing your work environment and schedule, you should commit to self-care to maintain your physical health. Practicing mindfulness and engaging in light exercise for at least 20 minutes a day can have a positive impact on mental and physical health.

 

To prevent burnout and minimise stress in dentistry, it’s important to take preventative measures such as improving the work environment, building connections with colleagues, taking breaks and vacations, learning how to handle patient anxiety, working reasonable hours, practicing self-compassion, and engaging in regular exercise.

 

By prioritising mental and physical health, you can improve job satisfaction and provide better patient care.

 

Source: Mental Health Services Monthly Statistics, Performance January, Provisional February 2023 – GOV.UK (www.gov.uk)

 

 

 

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