Sources of support for your wellbeing

There is a range of organisations, services and websites which can offer help. Whether you are struggling with addiction or looking for legal advice, find signposts to support.
Location: UK
Audience: All doctors
Updated: Monday 30 March 2020
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There is a range of organisations, services and websites which can offer help. Whether you are struggling with addiction or looking for legal advice, find signposts to support.

If you are looking for local support, you can also access our directory of wellbeing support services around the UK, specifically for doctors and medical students.

Addiction

Alcohol

NHS web page linking to alcohol support services (non-medic specific).

British Doctors and Dentists Group

A service for recovering alcoholic and drug dependent doctors, dentists and students.

Drugs

NHS web page linking to drug support services (non-medic specific).

Gambling

NHS web page linking to gambling support services (non-medic specific).

Sick Doctors Trust

Support and help for doctors, dentists and medical students who are concerned about their use of alcohol and other drugs.

 

Bereavement

Dealing with grief and loss

A useful NHS guide to coping with grief and loss (non-medic specific).

The Louise Tebboth Foundation

Supporting the mental wellbeing of medical practitioners and doctors’ families bereaved by suicide.

 

Counselling and support

British Association for Counselling and Psychotherapy

Search for counsellors and psychotherapists in your area (non-medic specific).

BMA Wellbeing support services

Confidential, 24/7 telephone counselling and peer support. Free of charge to all doctors and medical students.

DocHealth

A confidential, not for profit, psychotherapeutic consultation service for all doctors. Fees are based on a sliding scale relating to your grade and circumstances.

Doctors' Support Network (DSN)

A fully confidential, friendly, self-help group for doctors with mental health concerns.

NHS GP Health service

The NHS GP Health Service is a confidential NHS service for GPs and GP trainees in England, specialising in mental health support.

NHS Practitioner Health Programme

A free, confidential service for doctors and dentists in England who have mental or physical health concerns and or addiction problems, in particular where this may be affecting work.

NHS psychological therapies (IAPT services)

Free psychological therapies, including counselling, on the NHS. Search for services in your area and refer yourself directly (non-medic specific).

Samaritans

Available 24 hours a day to provide confidential emotional support for people who are experiencing feelings of distress or despair, including those which may lead to suicide (non-medic specific).

 

Disabilities

Disability information and support services – NHS

Find disability information and support services near you (non-medic specific).

Disabled Doctors Network

Supports the welfare, rights and inclusion of chronically ill and physically disabled doctors and medical students.

Hope 4 Disabled Doctors

A support group for doctors with disabilities.

 

Equal opportunities

GLADD

Association of LGBT Doctors and Dentists. Offers help/support/advice or simply the opportunity to make social contact with other lesbian, gay, bisexual or transgender doctors and dentists. 

 

Finances

BMA Charities

A group of charities established to help all doctors and their families in times of need.  

The Cameron Fund 

A charity for doctors who are, or have been, general practitioners, and for their dependants. It offers help in times of poverty, hardship or distress. The Fund aims to meet the needs of its beneficiaries in the fullest and most practical ways possible.

Royal Medical Benevolent Fund (RMBF)

UK charity for doctors, medical students and their families. Provide financial support, money advice and information when needed due to age, ill health, disability and bereavement. 

Royal Medical Foundation 

A medical benevolent charity which assists UK medical practitioners and their dependants who find themselves in financial hardship.

Society for Assistance of Medical Families

Membership society assisting doctors and the families of doctors in times of hardship.

 

Legal issues

BMA Law

Independent, proactive legal advice for members and non-members. BMA Law’s expert team offer a wide range of services to support doctors at work and at home; from dispute resolution and GMC investigation support, to estate planning and personal injury. All services are offered at preferential rates to BMA members.

Medical Defence Union (for MDU members only)

Provides expert help and advice on medico-legal and ethical matters including handling complaints, claims and GMC cases. It is staffed by a team of medico-legal advisers.

Medical and Dental Defence Union of Scotland (for MDDUS members only)

Supports members with complaints made by patients against them or who are facing disciplinary matters from their employing trust. A highly qualified team of medical and dental professionals gives advice and guidance.

Medical Practitioners Tribunal service

Information and support for doctors who have a hearing as part of a GMC investigation.

Medical Protection Society (for MPS members only)

Provides comprehensive professional indemnity and expert advice to doctors, dentists and health professionals around the world.

 

Professional support units

There are local services provided by your postgraduate education provider that can support you with your health and wellbeing during your training.

Find these in our UK wellbeing support directory (PDF).

 

Royal colleges

Association of Anaesthetists - Wellbeing and support

Information and guidance on your wellbeing from the Association of Anaesthetists.

Confidential Support and Advice for Surgeons 

Telephone helpline from the Royal College of Surgeons which provides a point of personal contact between surgeons, where they can discuss issues of concern with a professional colleague or peer. Besides offering a listening ear, the helpline acts as an informed signpost to appropriate sources of advice and help.

Royal College of Obstetricians and Gynaecologists

Informal peer to peer support service for members who are looking for guidance from their peers on workplace issues, interpersonal difficulties, return to work options or non-clinical concerns.

The Royal College of Psychiatrists mental health page

An excellent source of information; from fact sheets on specific mental health issues, and supporting someone with a mental health condition to training to become a mental health professional.

Psychiatrists' Support Service, Royal College of Psychiatrists

A confidential support and advice telephone helpline to for Members or Associates of the College. It covers addictions, bullying and harassment, career pathway, discrimination, examinations, involvement with the General Medical Council or the National Clinical Assessment Service - this is not an exhaustive list.

 

Work

Medical Women's Federation

Represents the interests of women doctors to government and national bodies, bringing together women trying to advance their medical careers.

 

Online tools

Arbour

An app to support doctors and medical students in their decision-making about whether to speak to someone about their mental health.

BMJ Learning

Professional skills and career development modules which give insightful and practical guidance. 

RMBF - Health and Wellbeing

Advice from the Royal Medical Benevolent Fund on a variety of subjects regarding your health and wellbeing.

Second victim support

Information, guidance and signposting to help with the impact of patient safety incidents.

Support for Doctors

Information and advice from the GMC for doctors who have concerns about their own health.

 

Disclaimer

The BMA makes no warranties, representations or undertakings about any content including, without limitation, any as to the quality, accuracy, completeness or fitness for any particular purpose of such content of any external websites.

Furthermore, the BMA does not endorse or approve the content of any such websites, nor will the BMA have any liability in connection with any of them including, but not limited to, liability arising out of any allegation that the content of any such websites infringes any law or the rights of any person or entity.