Medical students are fiercely independent with extraordinary talents. These abilities can sometimes have their drawbacks though, and one such drawback is the reluctance to seek help when we’re doing it tough. In order to counteract some of the barriers preventing us from accessing mental health services, JCUMSA has compiled a directory of resources that may be of use in our personal lives. These can be accessed completely at your own discretion and are free of charge. We hope that our members can use these to improve their lives in private through small, incremental efforts.
General Wellbeing and Coping
MoodGYM. The oldest tool in the list, MoodGYM was trialled in the US among medical interns. Using suicidal ideation as a comparative marker for stress levels between cohorts, it was found that the group of doctors who used it had 9% lower rates of suicidal ideation (12% vs 21%) compared to those who didn’t. The original E-Mental Health resource, this Australian product can build mental robustness if you give it time, just as you would allow your body time to grow when training in a conventional gym. A word of caution: MoodGYM can be perceived as too slow. If you find this is the case, please try similar, more streamlined resources such as myCompass. Users can pick and choose modules as they please, allowing users to tailor it to their needs.
MindSpot is a telephone and online counselling service. Slightly less autonomous for the user, this program provides guidance in the form of live telephone or online counsel. This is Macquarie University’s program, and it is used nationally. It may be of particular interest to our indigenous students and their families, as the program has a specific component tailored towards indigenous health issues.
If you specifically suffer an anxiety disorder and would like some extra support, This Way Up and Mental Health Online are designed for you. This Way Up costs money by design, as the lead on the program believes users will value it more by paying a fee. Both have been shown to be effective in reducing anxiety symptoms, with This Way Up being the most evidence based program on the list.
LGBTQIA+ Specific Resources
The LGBTQIA+ community have been shown to have a higher rate of mental illness. If you identify within this acronym, Q-Life has some resources more specific to you. It is an online and telephone counselling service designed to improve your mental wellbeing and ability to thrive at university.
Sometimes primary/ secondary prevention tools fail, and life becomes unbearable. If you find yourself unable to cope or feel unsafe, do not hesitate. Please consult one or more of the following:
Resource made in consultation with Dr Jan Orman of the Black Dog Institute, Sydney.