We urge you to monitor your own wellbeing and seek early assistance if you have concerns or experience stress. Use these resources as a guide.

RACP Support Program

Reach out to the RACP Support Program for free, 24/7, completely confidential support. Make an appointment or speak with a consultant on 1300 687 327 (Australia) or 0800 666 367 (Aotearoa New Zealand).

RACP resources

Our services | Support, policies and procedures to keep you on track when training

I want to offer support | Learn about the warning signs and how to reach-out, connect and support colleagues and trainees

The RACP Online Community (ROC) | A secure online forum that helps you find and connect with others for support and mentoring

Online learning resources | Courses on topics including training support, self-care, wellbeing and creating a safe workplace

How to support the health and wellbeing of trainees | Information for supervisors on how to create a safe and supportive environment

Supervisor support and resources | Resources for supervisors to develop their teaching skills

Health Benefits of Good WorkTM | Initiative based on compelling evidence that good work is beneficial to health and wellbeing

Doctors' Health and Wellbeing FAQs | We answer key wellbeing questions

Member Health and Wellbeing Committee


Healthier Physicians (PDF)
Supporting the mental health of your trainees (PDF)

External resources


Alcohol and drugs

Australia alcohol | 24/7 support through Alcoholics Anonymous Australia on 1300 22 22 22

Australia drugs | 24/7 support through Narcotics Anonymous Australia on 1300 652 820

Aotearoa NZ alcohol | 24/7 support through Alcoholic Anonymous Aotearoa New Zealand on 0800 229 6757

Aotearoa NZ drugs | 24/7 support through Narcotics Anonymous Aotearoa New Zealand on 0800 628 632


Australia | 24/7 support through Gambling Help Online on 1800 858 858 and Gamblers Anonymous Australia on 02 9726 6625

Aotearoa NZ | 24/7 support through Gamblers Anonymous New Zealand or call the Gambling Helpline on 0800 654 655

Anxiety and depression

Australia | 24/7 support through Beyond Blue on 1300 22 4636

Aotearoa NZ | 24/7 support through on 0800 111 757

Financial hardship

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

Location Service Contact
NSW/ACT The Medical Benevolent Association of NSW 02 9987 0504
QLD The Medical Benevolent Association of QLD 07 3872 2222
VIC The Victorian Medical Benevolent Association 03 9496 4295
SA The Medical Benevolent Association of SA 08 8267 4355

General advice and support


WellMob is a resource hub made by and for Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people.

Doctors' Health Alliance | Advisory service for doctors, medical students and their families and colleagues.

Doctor’s Health Advisory Service (DHAS) | Provides confidential advice to doctors and medical students on stress and mental illness, drug and alcohol problems, personal and financial difficulties.

Location Service Open Contact
NSW DHAS 24/7 02 9437 6552
ACT DHAS 24/7 0407 265 414
NT Doctors' Health NT 24/7 08 8366 0250
QLD DHAS 24/7 07 3833 4352
SA Doctors’ Health SA 24/7 08 8232 1250
VIC Victorian Doctors’ Health Program 9am to 5pm, Mon to Fri 03 9280 8712
WA DHAS 24/7 08 9321 3098
AoNZ DHAS AoNZ 24/7 0800 471 2654

Mind Tools | Resources to help reduce stress in your environment

RMHive App, iPhone | Tips, advice and tools designed to keep you mentally prepared and on-track during COVID-19 and beyond

Royal Australasian College of General Practitioners | Self-care guidebook for medical practitioners (PDF)

Standford Medicine WellMD | General health and wellbeing for doctors, including a list of anonymous online self-test sites

UCLA Health: Coping with shift work | Overcoming sleep problems caused by non-traditional work schedules

Ward, H.S., 2020, Optimizing resilience and wellbeing for healthcare professions trainees and healthcare professionals during public health crises – Practical tips for an ‘integrative resilience’ approach, Medical Teacher


If you need immediate support, call Lifeline Australia on 13 11 14.

AMA Victoria Peer Support Service | Offers a listening ear and referrals to appropriate expert services, for doctors by doctors in Victoria. Available 8am to 10pm, 7 days a week on 1300 853 338

Australian Medical Association Drs4Drs | Independent, safe, supportive and confidential advisory and referral service

Australian Medical Association (NSW) Doctors for Colleagues | Registry of General Practitioners who are are happy to take on colleagues as patients

Black Dog Institute Health professional resources | Assist with diagnosis, treatment and capacity building

Beyond Blue Health Services Program | Aims to address the prevalence of depression, anxiety and suicide in Australian medical students and doctors

Blue Knot Foundation | Empowers recovery and builds resilience for adults impacted by complex trauma

Council of Presidents of Medical Colleges | Unifying organisation for the specialist Medical Colleges of Australia 

Lifeline information and support | Information to help you understand the challenges you or a person you care for may be facing and where to go for help

Aotearoa New Zealand

If you need immediate support, call Lifeline Aotearoa New Zealand on 0800 543 354

Te ORA Māori Medical Practitioners Association | Represents Māori medical students, doctors and medical practitioners working as clinicians, specialists, researchers and teachers. Contact on 0800 483 672


Mental health care toolkit | Tools to support burnout for physicians in Canada.

Medical indemnity agencies

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

Service Hours Contact
Avant helpline 24/7
1800 128 268
MDA National medico-legal advice 24/7 1800 011 255
Medical Indemnity Protection Society Clinico-Legal support 24/7 1800 061 113
Medical Insurance Group Australia emergency support 24/7 1800 839 280
Medical Insurance Group Australia practitioner support service 24/7 1800 777 156
Aotearoa NZ
Medical Protection Society helpline 24/7
0800 22 55 677

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.

Contact the Bush Support Line, open 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 each state but generally 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 Doctors Network 02 6545 2461
QLD Queensland Rural Medical Family Network 07 3105 7800
SA South Australia Rural Medical Family Network 08 8234 8277
VIC Rural Doctors Association of Victoria 03 8610 6318
WA Rural Health West
0407 776 945

Rural Doctors Workforce Agency and Dr DOC program

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

Financial support includes:

  • GP Rural Incentives Program
  • professional support subsidy to enable rural GPs to access CPD opportunities
  • spouse employment assistance grant
  • relocation support subsidy
  • 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 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.

Contact the Dr DOC helpline in South Australia on 08 8234 8277.

Strategies for self-care

As doctors, our career is all about improving the health of others — but sometimes this can come at the cost of looking after our own. Medical professionals are at a higher risk of mental health issues than other professionals. Within this group, the most vulnerable are:

  • trainees
  • female doctors
  • rural and remote doctors
  • indigenous doctors
  • oversees doctors seeking local registration
  • doctors involved in medico-legal proceedings

Making time for self-care doesn't always come naturally for fast-paced, goal-driven physicians. Determining what self-care practices work for you and incorporating them into your life takes thought.

At work
  • Set-up formal professional support like mentoring or structured peer groups.
  • Always take a lunch break, no matter how busy you are.
  • Do some exercise or get some fresh air during your lunch break.
  • Organise holidays well ahead of time so you have something to look forward to.
Outside of work
  • Have your own general practitioner.
  • Have personal as well as professional goals.
  • Humour is therapeutic. Surround yourself with fun and humour daily.
  • Identify your life philosophy and live it.

The Physician self-care and wellbeing eLearning resource helps physicians adopt pro-active strategies so they can aim to thrive in their work, and help others to do the same.

Let's talk about wellbeing

Members' stories

1 in 5 Australians and 1 in 6 Aotearoa New Zealanders will experience a mental health condition at one point in their life, and physicians are no exception.

Studies show that doctors are more hesitant to access support services than the average person due to a fear of appearing weak or incompetent. RACP members have shared with us their personal mental health journeys in hopes of reducing the stigma.

Am I in the right career?

female doctor taking a patients blood pressureBy all accounts he is a success in his field, a well-known and respected senior Fellow who cares deeply about medicine and his patients. But at different times in his career he’s also been challenged by, and successfully managed, depression.

You can never switch off

Tired female doctor resting on couch“I was about to start work on a night shift in the ED as an intern,” says the trainee, “I’d eaten well and thought I’d rested enough but as I was taking the handover briefing from the registrar my hand suddenly stopped working.”

Would you like to tell your story? Sharing with others may help them on their journey. 

Pomegranate Health Podcast

Episode 82: Coming back from burnout

ENT surgeon Eric Levi explained why burnout should be considered not as a mental health condition but as an occupational disorder. And apart from the stressors of the job itself and the work relationships, the medical profession has a way of consuming one’s personal life.

Other wellbeing topics:

Listen to more stories of challenges and success while on the move with the Pomegranate Health podcast.

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