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: Tuesday 11 May 2021
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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.



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.


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


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.



Dealing with grief and loss

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

For doctors: managing your wellbeing

A film by Child Bereavement UK, funded by BMA Giving.

The Louise Tebboth Foundation

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


Counselling and support

The Balint Society

Balint groups help health and social care professionals gain a better understanding of the emotional content of their relationship with patients or clients. Search for the ones currently accepting members. 

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.


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 Group

A support group for any medical professional or dentist facing suspension, exclusion, investigation of complaints and/or allegations of professional misconduct.

Doctors' Support Network (DSN)

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

Duty to Care

Wellbeing support via online consultation for NHS workers to go to for instant help and support when they need it most.

Health for Health Professionals Wales

A free, confidential service now available to all Health Professionals and Healthcare Students working in NHS Wales.

NHS Practitioner Health

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).

Refuge National Domestic Abuse Helpline

Call the National Domestic Abuse Helpline for free and confidential advice, 24 hours a day on 0808 2000 247 or visit the helpline website to access further information, a contact form and the live chat service (non-medic specific).


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).

Workforce Specialist Service (WSS)

The WSS, delivered by NHS Practitioner Health, is a confidential multidisciplinary mental health service for doctors and other regulated health and social services professionals in Scotland.


COVID-19 support

Below are some of the sources of support we are aware of for healthcare workers during the COVID-19 pandemic.

Frontline 19
Free and confidential psychological support service for all people working in frontline services in the UK.

HSC staff health and wellbeing (Northern Ireland)
Psychological helplines and other resources to help support the wellbeing of health and social care workers in Northern Ireland during the COVID-19 pandemic

A UK-wide service for key workers and NHS, social care and volunteer organisations to be matched with medical student volunteers for non-clinical help such as errands, childcare, befriending and grocery shopping.

Heather Wellbeing
Free therapy for NHS frontline staff fighting COVID-19. Therapy is provided online and over the phone through Heather’s network of professional psychotherapists that are volunteering for this initiative.

Medics footprints
Provides a broad and comprehensive round up of resources, including links to specific Facebook support groups.

National Health Supporters
A network of healthcare students around the country, who aim to assist with the needs of NHS staff to alleviate pressures on them including, but not exclusive to, childcare, grocery shopping and pet sitting during these difficult times.

NHS Staff support line
A free and confidential staff support line operated by the Samaritans. This support line is here for when you’ve had a tough day, are feeling worried or overwhelmed, or maybe you have a lot on your mind and need to talk it through. Support is also available by text.

NHS Silvercloud
An online course to help you manage stress, anxiety and depression. You work through a series of topics selected by a therapist to address specific needs. The eight-week course is designed to be completed in your own time and at your own pace.

Project 5
NHS staff can access free one-to-one support sessions with either accredited clinical psychologists, mental health experts or coaches, via an online booking system.

Project Wingman
A group of airline crew providing support to NHS staff during the COVID-19 crisis.

Support for NHS leaders
A suite of support offers to help you lead your team compassionately and inclusively throughout the COVID-19 crisis. Includes coaching and mentoring, and leadership support circles.

UK doctors #longcovid

A Facebook group for UK doctors to share emerging data about long term COVID symptoms and a space for support for doctors experiencing symptoms.
Free therapy sessions to NHS staff. All therapists have been verified and are members of their appropriate professional bodies.



Acas guide on disability discrimination

Advice for employers and employees on disability discrimination at work.

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


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. 

Melanin Medics

Promoting diversity in medicine, widening aspirations and aiding career progression. Supporting African and Caribbean aspiring medics, medical students and doctors in the UK.

Medical Womens Federation

The voice of UK medical women on medical issues. Improving the working lives of women doctors.



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.

Medics Money

Find a specialist Medical Accountant, Financial Adviser or Mortgage adviser specialising in doctors and medical professionals.

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


A charity which helps to find pro bono (free) legal assistance from volunteer barristers (non-medic specific).


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.


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.


Speaking up

Freedom to Speak Up Guardian

Freedom to Speak Up Guardians support workers to speak up when they feel that they are unable to do so by other routes. Find contact details for your FTSU Guardian in the National Guardian’s directory.


A UK charity providing a free and confidential whistleblowing advice line.

Speak Up

A free, independent and confidential helpline for people working in NHS and Social Care organisations in England.


Online tools


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. 

Mentoring guidance for doctors
Overview of the benefits of mentoring, how to find a mentor and the skills required to be a mentor

NHS People guides
Short 10-20 minute guides to improve your wellbeing and experience of work.

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.

You Okay, Doc?

Advice, guidance and discussion on mental health and wellness topics for doctors. You Okay, Doc? offer information, practical tips and community discussion through their podcast, social media guidance and blog. YOD also run a webinar series which explores and provides guidance on various mental health challenges facing doctors.



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