Prioritizing Team Wellness: The Importance of Mental Health Awareness in Healthcare



As healthcare professionals, we are no strangers to the demands of our jobs. Long hours, high-stress environments, and the pressure to deliver exceptional patient care can take a toll on our mental well-being. However, May is Mental Health Awareness month, and it's crucial that we prioritize our mental health and well-being to maintain our own resilience and provide the best care possible for our patients.




Recognizing the Mental Health Challenges in Healthcare


The healthcare profession is known for its high-stress environment, which can lead to anxiety, depression, and burnout. Long hours, demanding patients, and the constant pressure to perform at a high level can contribute to these issues. For example, the pressure to meet production quotas, manage staff, and run a successful practice can add to the burden on healthcare professionals.



Addressing Stress and Anxiety in Healthcare Work Environment


The nature of healthcare work, with its repetitive tasks, close patient interaction, and high stakes for patient outcomes, can create a breeding ground for stress and anxiety. It's essential to recognize these challenges and work to address them proactively. By fostering an open and supportive environment, encouraging team members to prioritize their mental well-being, and providing resources for mental health support, we can reduce the stigma surrounding mental health in the workplace.



The Human Cost of Labour Shortages


Healthcare professionals are experiencing unprecedented levels of burnout, partly due to the ongoing labor shortages. When teams are short-staffed, members are often expected to take on additional responsibilities, which can be manageable in the short term. However, this added workload can lead to unsustainable stress and exhaustion over time. This cumulative effect is putting extreme pressure on both the team and its individual members, compromising their well-being and performance.



Fostering a Supportive Culture for Mental Health Awareness


Creating a culture of awareness and support around mental health is crucial in healthcare. Encouraging open conversations about mental health, providing education on self-care strategies, and normalizing seeking help for mental health issues can help reduce the stigma surrounding mental health in the workplace. Practicing self-care, such as proper nutrition, exercise, mindfulness, and taking breaks when needed, can also help maintain mental well-being.



Accessing Resources for Mental Health Support in Healthcare


Healthcare professionals should be made aware of the various resources available to support their mental health. Employee assistance programs, mental health hotlines, counseling services, and support groups can all provide valuable support and guidance for those in need. It's important to remind healthcare professionals that seeking help is a sign of strength, not weakness, and that there is support available to help them through challenging times.



Sharing Personal Stories to Inspire Mental Well-being Prioritization


Sharing personal stories or experiences related to mental health can help break down the barriers of shame and stigma that often surround mental health issues. By sharing experiences of overcoming mental health challenges or seeking help, healthcare professionals can inspire others to prioritize their mental well-being and reach out for support when needed.



As leaders in the healthcare industry, there is a responsibility to not only provide exceptional patient care but also to prioritize the well-being of our valued team members. In addition to fostering a supportive work environment, there are practical steps we can take to support our staff's mental health. By providing opportunities for employees to prioritize their own mdental well-being, employers can play a crucial role in promoting a healthy and resilient workforce. This can be achieved by offering resources such as access to mental health professionals, employee wellness programs, and flexible work arrangements that support work-life balance. 



National Alliance on Mental Illness - Mental Health Awareness Month

WMHMC Calendar - World Mental Health Month

National Institute of Mental Health - Digital Toolkit for Mental Health Awareness Month-Be a part of the conversation!

Using the Mental Health Wellness Framework in dental practice



Chris Weichenthal CDAII

With over two decades of dedicated experience in the dental field, Chris brings a wealth of dental knowledge and expertise to maxill. She’s had the privilege of collaborating with a diverse range of dental specialists, honing her expertise in various facets of oral healthcare. Her true passion however lies in patient education. She derives immense satisfaction from empowering patients with the knowledge they need to make informed decisions about their oral health. Chris is continuously driven to evolve and share her extensive dental knowledge, and remains committed to nurturing the future of dentistry, fostering a legacy of informed practitioners who prioritize patient well-being and excellence in oral healthcare.



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‌2.Nations, U. (n.d.). Healthy Workforce. United Nations.

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‌4. Plessas, A., Witton, R., Paisi, M., Ellwood, F., & McColl, E. (2022). Using the Mental Health Wellness Framework in dental practice. Bdj Team9(10), 10–12.