In this episode of Digital Mental Health Musings host, Dr. Ruth Crowther speaks to Dr Tania McMahon about burnout in clinical practice and how digital tools can help. Dr Tania McMahon is a returning guest on the Digital Mental Health Podcast. She is a Senior Research Officer within the eMHPrac team and a registered Clinical Psychologist. Tania has been working
In this episode of Digital Mental Health Musings host, Dr. Ruth Crowther speaks to Dr Tania McMahon about burnout in clinical practice and how digital tools can help.
Dr Tania McMahon is a returning guest on the Digital Mental Health Podcast. She is a Senior Research Officer within the eMHPrac team and a registered Clinical Psychologist. Tania has been working in ePsychology research for over a decade, helping develop and test a range of innovative therapies and technologies, including telephone-based treatments, online programs, and apps, to help improve mental health and wellbeing. She also works in a private practice setting treating adolescents and adults, and is an enthusiastic advocate of e-Mental Health services and resources to complement the treatment she provides and support her clients between sessions.
The unique challenges faced by clinicians and the impact of COVID on their work
The nature of health professionals’ work is that they are often personally invested, compassionate and empathetic during their work which can increase their risk of burnout. Particularly during the pandemic with demand from new and returning clients pushing the normal processes to their limits and testing boundaries.
Many clinicians extended their hours, opening appointments on extra days and after their typical hours. Additionally, clinicians faced additional mental and emotional pressures due to workplace shortages and the increasing need to make difficult choices.
How digital mental health can help with the overload?
Digital mental health resources can be a great tool to help ease clinicians’ workload. Strategies like getting clients started on an online program while waiting for a session, or utilizing digital mental health resources as homework tasks between sessions to maximise the use of time in person. These tools can help clients work on learning skills or building on their psycho-education so the clinician can focus on engagement and more sensitive issues in sessions. Crisis services can also be incorporated into the treatment plan to support clients between sessions.
Clinicians can also utilise digital mental health tools to aid in session plans, drawing on worksheets, online modules and information websites. In addition to reducing the workload there are also several digital mental health resources available to directly support health professionals mental health providing peer support, online programs, phone support and more. eMHPrac has compiled list of these resources available to download at https://www.emhprac.org.au/resource/managing-the-mental-health-of-health-professionals-and-first-responders/.
How can clinicians get started with digital mental health?
While events like the COVID-19 pandemic can act as a catalyst to prompt the uptake of digital mental health resources, it relies on clinicians first being aware of the tools out there. A great way to start navigating the landscape of digital mental health resources is to learn about the different categories from treatment programs to apps and information websites. With a foundational understanding of the categories, clinicians can begin understanding and sorting resources as they come across them and build a mental library to draw on with clients.
eMHprac eMH Directory for all the resources mentioned in this episode: https://www.emhprac.org.au/directory/
Managing the Mental Health of Health Professionals and First Responders factsheet: https://www.emhprac.org.au/resource/managing-the-mental-health-of-health-professionals-and-first-responders/
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Catch up on the last episode of Digital Mental Health Musings: https://www.emhprac.org.au/resource/s2e2-spotlight-on-moodmission/
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