29 Jun 2020
A nationwide health and wellbeing support service for dental practitioners funded by the Dental Board of Australia will be launched in July.
Dental Practitioner Support will be the first national 24/7 telephone and online service for all dental practitioners. The service will also offer support to dental students, educators, employers and concerned family members.
An experienced team of counsellors will be just a phone call away to provide confidential and immediate support, advice and referral on a wide range of health and wellbeing related issues.
Dental Board of Australia Chair, Dr Murray Thomas, said the Board and the contracted service provider were working together to get Dental Practitioner Support operating as soon as possible.
‘Our aim is to launch the service early in July, recognising that the COVID-19 pandemic and the associated practice restrictions have affected all registered dental practitioners.
‘We want dental practitioners anywhere in Australia, whether they are based in a city or in a rural or remote location, to be able to access health and wellbeing support if needed, especially during this unprecedented time.’
The service will run independent of the Dental Board of Australia, so dental practitioners can have complete confidence in reaching out for confidential support.
Dr Thomas said the profession needed to keep working together to remove any stigma about a dental practitioner needing to ask for help.
‘The Board is funding the service to support dental practitioners in continuing to provide safe, quality care to their local communities.
‘It’s not uncommon for busy health professionals to experience times when they might need to reach out. This new 24/7 service means confidential support will be just a free phone call away.
Anthony Denham, Program Director for Turning Point, which has been contracted to deliver Dental Practitioner Support, said the service was founded on the principle that prevention is better than cure.
‘As well as access to immediate confidential support, the service provides dental practitioners with a wide range of free information and resources on its website which include helpful tips and advice.
‘This service is all about providing anonymous support that helps dental practitioners deal with health and wellbeing issues, especially those which may be affecting their personal lives and their work.
‘These may include stress caused by work and workplace issues, family and relationship problems, alcohol and drug-related issues, or mental health concerns.’
The establishment of Dental Practitioner Support follows the success of a similar service for nurses and midwives that was launched in 2018 and is funded by the Nursing and Midwifery Board of Australia.
Further information on how to access Dental Practitioner Support will be provided before its launch.