Are you Looking after Your Mental Health as a Clinician?

Mental illness is a term that refers to a set of medical conditions that affect a person’s thinking, feeling, mood, ability to relate to others and daily functioning. Sometimes referred to as mental disorders, mental health conditions or neuropsychiatric disorders, these conditions affect hundreds of millions of people worldwide. Believe it or not this does include us as physiotherapists. The 8th of September signaled World Physical Therapy Day and we were asked to consider the role we play in helping those with mental health conditions. But have you thought about your own mental health?

With our days at work spent focusing on our patients it can be easy to forget about our own mental health. This month the Physiopedia volunteers have been busy behind the scenes updating all of our mental health resources. This doesn’t just mean resources aimed at helping our patients but for us as clinicians too. One such page is called “Compassion Fatigue Amongst Physiotherapists” and it would be more than worth your time to take a look and check in with how you are feeling. Remember we are here to help you as clinicians too.

What is Burnout?
Regardless of the term, a “burnout” or compassion fatigue can be best understood as: a syndrome of emotional and physical exhaustion, depersonalization, and a reduced sense of personal accomplishment. It denotes a state of emotional exhaustion that can occur as a result of intensive empathic involvement with people who are in distress or in other words our patients.

If you think of someone who you see as physically resilient, who comes to mind. It’s someone who is able to adapt to new challenges and maintain their energy and recover quickly. The opposite is true for those who aren’t physically resilient they tire rapidly and struggle to overcome new challenges. What if we take the same question and ask it about emotional resilience. What comes to mind then?

The good thing is that resilience isn’t a personality trait. It is something that we can all take steps to achieve. Below is a video which discusses how to build resilience. Please take some time out of the coming week and look after your emotional resilience but reading the PP page and watching the video below.