Support services for health professionals

What support is available?

We have compiled a list of external support services that are available across Australia and New Zealand that offer support in the areas of health, mental health, financial and workplace difficulties, financial support, relocation, drugs, alcohol and gambling. The RACP recognises the importance of these local services and seeks to complement these systems, not replace them.

If you need immediate support, call Lifeline Australia on +61 13 11 14 or Lifeline New Zealand on +64 0800 543 354.

Confidential Support Helpline

You can arrange to speak directly with a Senior Converge International Consultant face-to-face, over the phone or via the internet.

To make an appointment, or to speak with a RACP Support Program consultant, call 1300 687 327 (Aust) or 0800 666 367 (NZ).

Read more about the Confidential Support Helpline


Confidential advice and support from a doctor outside the RACP

Doctor’s Health Advisory Service (DHAS)

The DHAS provides advice relating to stress and mental illness, drug and alcohol problems, personal and financial difficulties. It also operates a telephone helpline to provide personal advice to doctors and medical students. Some state Advisory Services also provide health promotion programs and educational information through their website and presentations to interested groups.

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Location

Service

Hours

Contact

NSW

DHAS

24/7

+61 02 9437 6552

ACT

Colleague of First Contact

24/7

+61 0407 265 414

NT

DHAS

24/7

+61 02 9437 6552

QLD

DHAS

24/7

+61 07 3833 4352

SA

Doctors’ Health SA

24/7

+61 08 8232 1250

VIC

Victorian Doctors’ Health Program

Business hours

+61 03 9495 6011

WA

DHAS

24/7

+61 08 9321 3098

NZ

DHAS NZ

24/7

0800 471 2654

Australian Medical Association (AMA), Victoria and Tasmania

The AMA peer support service is an anonymous and confidential helpline provided for doctors by doctors and is available to any doctor or medical student who lives, works or studies in Victoria or Tasmania. The service provides a first point of contact and support for callers who would like to talk through issues regarding any aspect of their life, including stressful incidents, violence or trauma in the workplace, workplace issues such as bullying, workload concerns, feelings of stress or inability to cope, burnout, career plans, professional life, personal issues and general well-being.

The service is available 8am-11pm 7 days a week on 1300 853 338.

New Zealand Medical Association (NZMA)

The NZMA provides an advisory service to assist on a variety of issues, including staff employment and running a practice. NZMA members and families of deceased members may apply for aid in situations of financial hardship or distress from the Medical Benevolent Society.

You can contact NZMA on +64 0800 656 161.

Te ORA Maori Medical Practitioners Association

Te ORA represents Maori medical students, doctors and medical practitioners working as clinicians, specialists, researchers and teachers.

Te ORA runs:

  • A GP Peer Support Group that meets quarterly to provide collegial, personal and professional development for Maori General Practitioners
  • Te Whatu, a mentoring service, which provides a unique space for Maori medical practitioners to support one another

You can contact Te ORA on 0800 483 672.

 

Remote and rural services

Bush Support Services

CRANAplus runs Bush Support Services and offers personalised care for remote health workers. It includes a Bush Support Line, stress management workshops, self-care publications and guidelines.

The Bush Support Line is a confidential helpline staffed by registered psychologists who have experience in working in remote and rural areas. The service is tailored to each individual and their situation, with the capacity for repeat callers to speak to the same psychologist. Callers are not required to be CRANAplus members and the support line is open to spouses and family members of remote health workers.

You can contact the Bush Support Line 24/7 in Australia on 1800 805 391.

Rural Family Medical Network

The Rural Medical Family Network assists the spouses and families of doctors and medical students when moving to rural locations in NSW, Queensland, Victoria and WA.

Rural Medical Family Network services vary according to state and include:

  • Family and kids programs at CPD conferences
  • Grants to facilitate face-to-face networking of medical spouses, partners and families
  • Spouse retraining and/or education grants
  • Newsletters
  • Crisis assistance for rural doctors and their families who are stressed or ill
  • Gatherings to lessen feelings of loneliness and isolation 

Location

Service

Contact

NSW

NSW Rural Medical Family Network

+61 02 6545 2461

QLD

Queensland Rural Medical Family Network

+61 07 3105 7800

VIC

Rural Medical Family Network Victoria

+61 03 8610 6318

WA

WA Rural Medical Family Network

+61 0407 776 945

Rural Doctors Workforce Agency (RDWA) Dr DOC program, South Australia

The RDWA provide opportunities to access CPD activities, financial assistance, and a Dr DOC (duty of care) program, which supports rural GPs to take care of themselves, their families and their colleagues.

Financial support includes:

  • The GP Rural Incentives Program,
  • A professional support subsidy to enable rural GPs to access CPD opportunities,
  • A spouse employment assistance grant,
  • A relocation support subsidy, and
  • A rural female GP pre-school childcare subsidy

Dr DOC is a confidential service linking rural GPs to a range of rural and city based doctors for general health care. The Dr DOC program and services work across the full spectrum of health care, from prevention and early intervention, to acute or chronic situations. A phone helpline is also available if there is a crisis.

The RDWA also offers assistance to the partners and children of doctors in a variety of ways, including helping families settle into a new community and connect to the local people and services.

You can contact the Dr DOC helpline in South Australia on +61 08 8234 8277.

Medical indemnity agencies

There is a range of medical indemnity agencies across Australia and New Zealand that provide support services and counselling programs to their members.

Location

Service

Hours

Contact

AU

Avant helpline

24/7

1800 128 268

AU

MDA National medico-legal advice

24/7

1800 011 255

AU

Medical Indemnity Protection Society clinico-legal support

24/7

1800 021 223

AU

Medical Insurance Group Australia emergency support

24/7

+61 08 8238 4444

AU

Medical Insurance Group Australia Doctors’ support service

24/7

1800 777 156

NZ

Medical Protection Society helpline

24/7

0800 22 55 677

 

The Medical Benevolent Association

The Medical Benevolent Association assists medical practitioners and their families in circumstances of financial hardship.

Location

Service

Contact

NSW/ACT

The Medical Benevolent Association of NSW

+61 02 9987 0504

QLD

The Medical Benevolent Association of Qld

+61 07 3872 2222

VIC

The Victorian Medical Benevolent Association

+61 03 9496 4295

SA

The Medical Benevolent Association of SA

+61 08 8267 4355

 

Anxiety and depression

Australia

For 24/7 support in Australia you can contact beyondblue on 1300 22 4636.

New Zealand

For 24/7 support in New Zealand you can contact the National Depression Initiative on 0800 111 757.

 

Alcohol and drugs

Australia

For 24/7 support in Australia you can contact Alcoholics Anonymous Australia on 1300 22 22 22, or Narcotics Anonymous Australia on 1300 652 820.

New Zealand

For 24/7 support in New Zealand you can contact Alcoholic Anonymous New Zealand on 0800 229 6757, or Narcotics Anonymous New Zealand on 0800 628 632.

 

Gambling

Australia

For 24/7 support in Australia you can contact Gambling Help Online on 1800 858 858 or Gamblers Anonymous Australia on +61 02 9726 6625.

New Zealand

For 24/7 support in New Zealand you can contact Gamblers Anonymous New Zealand or call the Gambling Helpline on 0800 654 655.

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