LASC LDCs are here to listen and support you if you have any concerns or questions. Please contact us through the contact form on this website or email firstname.lastname@example.org. There are also numerous dental specific helplines out there if you find that you need help, we have listed some of these contacts below. Please do not suffer in silence, you are not alone, and support is there for you;
The psychological strain of Covid-19 has taken its toll on everyone; the people you know, the people you walk by on the street, the people you care for, your colleagues, your people.
But what about you?
You have been working hard through what has been one of the most challenging times in living memory. It’s often been hard to take that time for yourself when there’s so many people who rely on you.
The Lancashire and South Cumbria Resilience Hub is here to help you find what you need, whether you’ve been struggling to get by or you just feel you’ve been feeling under the weather.
Who can use the Resilience Hub?
The Lancashire and South Cumbria Resilience Hub is intended as a support resource for all public sector workers and volunteers who have worked through the Covid-19 pandemic and their families.
Frontline primary care colleagues have been facing unprecedented challenges through Covid-19, which is why the #LookingAfterYouToo coaching space was established.
Available since April 2020 it has supported thousands of primary care colleagues to process their experiences, offload demands and develop coping skills to look after themselves.
The new #LookingAfterYourTeam service will create an opportunity for individuals who lead, manage or organise teams, groups, services or networks, to access coaching about their team. Coaching support is available with a highly skilled and experienced coach and is centred around compassionate and collaborative team leadership. The aim is to encourage psychological wellbeing and resilience in teams while supporting them to continue to deliver projects, services and high-quality care to patients.
The coaching will be orientated towards proactively supporting you to work with your team to develop practical strategies, making small improvements and amplifying the voice of primary care across the system.
It is important during this time that you take time to prioritise your own mental health and wellbeing, recognising that it is more difficult to provide outstanding care for others when you are not adequately cared for yourself.
Greater Manchester training hub offers links to training and resources and to support mental health and wellbeing please click on the link below:
How Confidental Works
When you call Confidental you will be greeted by a short automated message. The call is then directed to one of our listeners (all practicing or retired dentists) who will listen to you and help to empower you to come to your own solution or signpost you to a relevant organisation who may be able to offer you further advice.
As Confidental is run entirely by volunteers we will unfortunately be unable to catch every call.
In the event that we aren’t able to answer your call you will hear second message which will ask you to try again and will also give details for Samaritans.
Mental Health & Wellbeing
Studies show high levels of stress and burnout amongst UK dentists, with GDPs showing some of the highest levels of stress. Tomorrow is World Mental Health Day and so we’d like to flag some of the information and resources available to support you.
Three things you can do for your mental wellbeing: Former BDA president Roz McMullan worked to support the mental wellbeing of frontline staff during the crisis. Here she reflects on the level of stress dentists are under and looks at three strategies for mitigating it.
The mental health crisis in dentistry: what needs to happen: Former BDA Chair, Mick Armstrong sets out the case for action on preventative measures to ensure dentists’ wellbeing is safeguarded during and after the pandemic.
A guide to imposter syndrome: Do you have imposter syndrome? Leah Kanda, a dental student at King's College London, tells us about imposter syndrome and how to tackle it.
The long-term impact of pandemics on healthcare workers: Research Analyst Victoria Collin discusses the psychological impact of pandemics on healthcare workers and why it is essential that we prepare for long-lasting consequences.
BDA members can also receive counselling and emotional support through our Health Assured programme. Calling this confidential helpline can help you deal with personal and professional problems that could be affecting your home or work life, health and general wellbeing. It’s open to all members 24/7, 365 days a year.
Updated advice for pregnant healthcare workers
The Royal College of Obstetricians and Gynaecologists recently updated the advice for healthcare workers who are pregnant. The updated advice states that an individual who is pregnant can continue working with patients at any stage of pregnancy as long as they have completed a pregnancy risk assessment and an individual risk assessment.
These assessments must be regularly reviewed with their employer and followed by the guidance promoted by the risk assessment.
Understanding your well-being in a COVID-19 world
Stress and mental well-being are both very important issues in dentistry, particularly in the current climate. Earlier this summer, our President, Roz Mc Mullan hosted a webinar to help you recognise the signs of stress and learn how to prevent it.
We have since made this one-hour webinar free to view, whether you're a member, a non-member or a DCP. It will help you to:
Understand signs and symptoms of stress and burnout
Explore the prevalence of stress in dentistry and what we know about COVID-19 and well-being
Gain knowledge of psychological effects on healthcare staff when experiencing a pandemic
Be aware of evidence-based prevention and coping strategies during a pandemic
Know how to signpost for people experiencing stress and burnout and which organisations are available for support.
Free coaching support for NHS dentists and teams in England
Dentists and their teams working under an NHS contract in primary care in England can now access a coaching service run by NHS England and NHS Improvement, which aims to support frontline staff's wellbeing during the challenges of the Coronavirus pandemic.
Available seven days a week, staff can book a slot with experienced coaches at a date and time that suits them.
The offer provides staff in clinical and non-clinical roles across primary care the opportunity to process their experiences, develop coping skills, deal with difficult conversations and develop strategies for self-management in challenging circumstances.
Coaching sessions will continue throughout the COVID-19 pandemic until at least March 2021.
The support is provided independently of your employer, and your employer will not be notified that you are accessing this service, unless you choose to tell them.
BDA lifeline for profession under stress
The British Dental Association (BDA) has launched a new partnership with the award-winning employee assistance programme Health Assured to provide all BDA members with a 24-7 comprehensive and confidential counselling service.
The service offers expert advice and compassionate guidance, a pathway to structured telephone counselling for members or their dependents and for members face-to-face counselling sessions, alongside advice on any issues that cause anxiety or distress including debt management, accountancy, lawsuits, consumer disputes, property or neighbour disputes.
The BDA has committed itself to tackling the epidemic of mental health issues facing the profession. Its own research has found that almost half of dentists say stress in their job is exceeding their ability to cope. BDA surveys have found high levels of stress and burnout among the profession, with a fifth of respondents (17.6%) admitting they had seriously thought about committing suicide.
The Health Assured coverage includes access to their Health e-Hub App (via the App Store and Google Play) which offers access to holistic health and wellbeing support anywhere and anytime, an online portal with a virtual library of wellbeing information, and a range of online Cognitive Behavioural Therapy (CBT) self-help modules, factsheets and invaluable advice videos from leading qualified counsellors.
BDA members can log in to their My BDA account for the member-only access details
BDA Chair Mick Armstrong said:
"Mental health matters. Evidence shows dentists are now in desperate need of support, and sadly all too often aren't even offered signposts to basic services.
"We set out to guarantee that none of our members need to suffer in silence. Whatever is causing stress, with our friends at Health Assured we can now offer counselling, advice and tools, 24 hours a day, 365 days a year."
We recognise the coronavirus (COVID-19) situation has already caused some disruption and may particularly affect dental students and dentists who suffer from issues related to mental ill health and who are on low incomes, or in other difficulties. We are also aware of the financial implications as a result of sickness, self-isolation and those whose practices are currently or may be closed which will have an impact upon earnings. Although we are not a fund set up to directly deal with coronavirus, nor are we able to replicate your income, we would like to reassure you that if you are worried that you are not currently able to meet your personal household expenditure, please get in touch.
The Dentists Health Support Trust (DHST)
The Dentists Health Support Trust (previously called The Sick Dentists Scheme & Dentists Health Support Programme) helps addicted and alcoholic Dentists get into recovery. It is financed by the profession & is run by the Trustees of the Dental Health Support Trust.
The help-line is open 24/7 - 020 7224 4671
Calls and emails are treated with strict confidentiality and can be made anonymously (like those to the Sick Doctors Trust). They are answered by a Dentist in recovery or a Clinical Psychologist specialising in addiction.
Financial assistance with treatment centre expenses may be available where appropriate from the British Dental Association Benevolent Fund. The Trust also has a network of recovering dentists available across the country, who can offer support.
Help and advice, particularly with GDC problems, is also available from the British Doctors and Dentists Groups which meet regularly and nationwide.