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Empowering healthcare professionals improve their well-being, starting with their mental health

To mark World Mental Health Day on October 10, we are curious to understand the state of mental health of our healthcare professional community. The findings from our poll on Docquity surveying about 600 doctors were worrying. Seven out of ten doctors in Southeast Asia are prone to stress, burnout, fatigue, heavy workload, and lack of work-life balance.

I have seen first-hand growing up in a family of doctors – the long hours, the intensity, as well as the loss they face everyday. There are days I don’t see my own father but witness how he showed up and cared for his patients everyday. Today, he is retired and probably grateful that his son didn’t go down his path. While COVID is almost behind us, the last few years were some of the hardest times I’ve seen healthcare workers serve their patients. 

This prompted us to reimagine how Docquity as a professional community of doctors can continue to advance our vision – connecting doctors to build healthier lives around the world at scale. We started by asking some of our top creators and mental health experts on Docquity and there are three recurring themes I want to share with everyone today:

1. Recognition is the first step

“You’re not a superhero. You can be down sometimes, you can be stressed but that’s proof that you’re human,” Dr Santi Yuliani, psychiatrist and creator in Indonesia explained. At work, many of us face stress and burnout. It’s only human to face mental health challenges.

Recognising that we all have vulnerabilities is a great starting point – as Docquity joins the call by the World Health Organisation (WHO) to make mental health and well being for all a global priority this year. At Docquity, we decided it’s important to advocate for mental health internally first. Earlier this year, we started an Employee Resource Group, “mental wellbeing and resilience”, dedicated to help educate our colleagues about managing stress and anxiety, as well as promoting overall mental wellbeing.

2. Overcoming stigma

In many developing countries around the world and certainly in many professions, speaking up about mental health is still a taboo. According to psychiatrist and creator in Indonesia, Dr Ida Rochmawati, “(There is) no health without mental health”. There is a lot of work to be done to ensure that our mental health is protected and valued.

At Docquity, we want to provide psychological safety for our community to share privately, and at no extra cost with our new service, Docquity Careline for doctors, which will launch in the Philippines and Malaysia on World Mental Health Day on October 10. These consultation sessions will be held virtually and by appointment with our appointed psychologists.

3. Self care is self love

As Dr Roderico V. Ramos, psychiatrist and creator in the Philippines, shared, “Self-care. Self-love. That is important.” This is one of the most prominent recurring themes from our mental health experts.

It goes beyond simply learning to manage pressure and fatigue but also includes taking better care of our whole selves as we take care of others. None of us can pour from an empty cup – prioritizing our mental well-being allows us to keep our cups full so we have more to offer. To take this one step further, as a professional community for doctors, we want to help our community realize that they are not alone and that they can lean on their professional community for support.

Our team partnered with top creators on Docquity from Indonesia, the Philippines and Malaysia to share their advice and expertise as mental health professionals. We are very grateful for their contribution and they are:

  • Dr Roderico V. Ramos, MD, FPPA, Ilocos Training and Regional Medical Center, San Fernando City, La Union, the Philippines
  • Dr Sylvia Wong, Psychiatrist, Harmony Specialist Clinic, Malaysia
  • Dr Santi Yuliani, M.Sc., Sp.KJ , Psychiatrist, RSJ Prof. Dr. Soerojo Magelang, Indonesia
  • Dr Ezra Ebenezer Soleman, SpKJ, Psychiatrist, RS Medika Permata Hijau, Indonesia
  • Dr Ida Rochmawati, Sp.KJ, M.Sc, RSUD Wonosari, Indonesia
  • Dr Rossalina Lili, SpKJ, ​​Primaya Evasari Hospital, Indonesia

We invite the wider professional community to celebrate and share your encouragement with our healthcare professionals, as well as share your self-care tips with everyone who might benefit from your learnings.   

I’ll end off by saying that everyone is going through challenges – big and small. As we continue to help healthcare professionals be collaborative, productive and impactful, it truly starts with self-care and leaning on our broader professional community. With this initiative, it is our aspiration to empower healthcare professionals to improve their well-being, starting with their mental health.

#WorldMentalHealthDay #AreYouWell

Amit Vithal
Co-Founder and Chief Growth Officer

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