World Mental Health Day and the importance of wellness in dentistry
Today is World Mental Health Day is a chance to talk about mental health in general, how we need to look after it, and how important it is to talk about things and get help if you are struggling.
The theme of 2022's World Mental Health Day, set by the World Federation for Mental Health, is 'Make mental health and wellbeing for all a global priority'.
Dentistry has long been considered a lonely profession. The pandemic brought much uncertainty surrounding the provision of care. According to a new report by the British Dental Association, nearly half of dentists have reduced their NHS commitment since the beginning of the pandemic.
It added to growing concerns for the health and wellbeing of those working within the dental environment.
5 steps to improve your wellness
1. Identify your stressors
2. Prioritise a healthy lifestyle and exercise
3. Create a structured sleep schedule
4. Advocate for yourself
5. Seek professional help
What can your practice do?
Understand the importance of making your team feel happy and supported. What resources have you implemented? Do you have training and mental first aiders in place?
As well as training for the team, other ideas include:
- Introducing a clear menopause policy or guidance documents
- Take the environment into account and consider reasonable adjustments
- Assess each individual on their own merits
- Create an open and transparent environment.
- Clarifying job expectations
- Offering employees a balance of variety and structure in their duties
- Showing appreciation for the work being done, both the effort and the results
- Asking employees to be specific when they express burnout to discover their distinct areas of concern and to work with them to alleviate the stress
Team meetings can be a good opportunity to show appreciation for co-workers and employees. These meetings can also be used as mindfulness breaks and for team building to help decrease feelings of isolation.