Psychological PPE: Peer support beyond COVID-19

Issue: BCMJ, vol. 62, No. 4, May 2020, Page 139 News COVID-19

In response to physicians’ growing concerns amid the COVID-19 pandemic, the Physician Health Program (PHP) has launched a virtual peer-support group available to all BC physicians. Peer-to-peer connections promote shared learning, resiliency, and hope. Weekly sessions are co-facilitated by psychiatrist Dr Jennifer Russel and manager of clinical services Roxanne Joyce.

To be as accessible and physician-centred as possible, the sessions are drop-in with no commitment required. The focus is peer support, not psychiatric care, and all participants have the option to join anonymously. Conversations so far have explored wellness, work-life balance, pressures of working within COVID-19, acknowledging feelings of helplessness and anger, mindfulness, breathing strategies, working with limited PPE, and more. Many have also shared moments of joy and inspiration.

The PHP program of BC helps physicians, resident doctors, and medical students, as well as their families. When doctors and their families reach out for support, we are there to understand their situation, to support, and to advocate, both individually and collectively, as they strive to improve their mental and physical health.

We take confidentiality seriously. Your identity, personal information, and the fact you contacted us will be held in full confidence. Information pertaining to you and/or your family will be released to third parties only with your explicit consent or as required by law.

PHP is pleased to offer the weekly peer-support sessions as a permanent service. Email for details. We also offer prompt, personalized, confidential counseling, life coaching, support, and referral services. Our intake line is open 24/7 (1 800 663-6729). Our general office line is 604 398-4300 (8:30 a.m. to 4:30 p.m. M–F). Website:
—Roxanne Joyce
Manager, Clinical Services, Physician Health Program.

Roxanne Joyce. Psychological PPE: Peer support beyond COVID-19. BCMJ, Vol. 62, No. 4, May, 2020, Page(s) 139 - News, COVID-19.

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