What is Wellbeing?


Wellbeing is about managing your mental, physical, emotional and financial health to ensure you have a balanced lifestyle, enjoy what you do, and set yourself up for a long and rewarding career.


At times of stress, it is even more important to look after yourself by eating well, getting enough sleep, getting away from the books to do some physical activity, and keeping up with activities you enjoy. Wellbeing is deeper than looking at diet and exercise. It is about learning what sustains and supports you as an individual to achieve all that you need to do to complete your medical studies, sane and whole. It may be about family time, it may be about sporting activities, it may be about establishing rhythms of sleep and wake which reduce fatigue. Developing this knowledge as a student will set the foundation for your future as a health professional


Why is Wellbeing important?

Training and eventually working as a health professional are both very demanding. Without self-care there is a risk of developing burnout and becoming fatigued and doubting your career choice. Developing a strong work-life balance and an understanding how you can best look after yourself to manage stressful times when you are a medical student will be helpful in the future when you are a junior professional.

When is it just stress and when is it a more serious psychological problem?

While everyone at times feels down, stressed or anxious, it is important to recognise in yourself and in your friends when these feelings could be signs of a more serious problem.


Here are some signs to look out for in yourself and your peers:

  • Persistent trouble falling or staying asleep
  • Feeling unhappy, irritable or moody most of the time
  • Loss of interest in things usually enjoyed
  • Loss of appetite and losing or gaining weight quickly
  • Having a lot of negative and self-critical thoughts
  • Difficulty concentrating or paying attention
  • Persistent worrying and excessive fears
  • Withdrawing from family, friends and social gatherings
  • Lowered performance at university/in other activities


If you recognise any of these symptoms in yourself or a friend, a good first step is to talk about it with someone you trust. This may be a family member, your GP or a close friend or your student co-ordinator /educator. Many people find it scary to start a conversation about these feelings, but it can be as simple as telling someone ‘I’ve been feeling a bit down’, or ‘I’ve been worrying a lot lately’ (From AMSA “Where to Start”).

What can we offer at UCRH?

The Education team here at UCRH are very aware of both the excitement and challenges faced by our students in their rural placements. We are here to support you in your journey and would like to encourage you to develop these important skills in caring for yourself and your peers. This will require practice and prioritising –life is busy and there will always be something which can stand in the way- but it will be worth it, allowing for a happy, healthy and rewarding career. Our student coordinators are all trained in mental health support and can also offer advice about accessing the assistance you need.

Finding a GP you trust

We recommend all students locate and register with a local GP. Over the period of your training and later as a junior professional, it is likely you will work in different locations. Identifying a doctor you like and trust, and doing this when you are well, means that should the need arise you will know where to go to find the support you need. To access a list of local GPs who bulk bill for students, please speak with your student coordinator.

Accessing Counselling

If it is necessary your GP can refer you privately or can write a mental health care plan which entitles you to a number of visits with a psychologist.  Your GP will be aware of local psychologists and their billing practices and waiting times. Some bulk billing psychology/counselling services can be accessed via Southern Cross University Health Clinic. While awaiting local psychology services, your home university can often offer telephone counselling

It is extremely important to be reviewed regularly by your GP if they refer you to a psychologist and there is a significant waiting period, and to seek urgent help if you are feeling worse or at risk.


On line and phone Counselling resources


Online psychoeducation and CBT resources can be utilised while awaiting face to face appointments. On-line CBT training and psychoeducation services are a useful way of accessing care if you feel safe to do so.







Telephone CBT- via New Access-1300 137 934

Other Helpful Resources

The following are some very useful support, wellbeing and mental health resources. We would encourage you to explore these sites to raise your awareness of what is available which may be valuable at some stage for either yourself or a colleague.


  • We strongly recommend all medical students read “Keeping Your Grass Greener” an excellent publication by AMSA specifically aimed at the issues and needs of medical students. We have several hard copies in the student study area and it is available online via the following link https://www.amsa.org.au/node/948
  • DHAS – Doctors Health Advisory Service NSW and ACT for 02 94376552 and 24 hour helpline 0409 446 489: The Doctors’ Health Advisory Service in NSW operates a telephone Help Line to provide personal advice to practitioners and students facing difficulties. Anyone who is concerned about their own health, the health of a colleague, or the health of a family members who is a doctor or a medical student can call the Help Line. They report that most of their callers seek advice in relation to stress and mental illness, drug and alcohol problems, or personal and financial difficulties. No problem is too trivial or too serious.
  • Doctors Health Advisory Service Resources For Medical Students.
  • Lifeline 13 11 14
  • Suicide Call Back Service 1300 659 467
  • Beyond Blue 
  • Beyond Blue Phone 24/7 support    1300 22 46 36
  • Reachout
  • MindHealthConnect 
  • Headspace 
  • Mental Health Access Line 1800 011 511: a 24/7 information and access to mental health services.
  • Mensline  1300 789 978
  • Mental Health Information Service 1300  794  991
  • Anxiety Disorders Information and Support Line 1300 794 992
  • Gay and Lesbian Counselling Service 02 85 94 95 96
  • SANE helpline 1800 187 263
  • RACGP resources-“Keeping The Doctor Alive”
  • Physical Health Concerns: Your GP or for afterhours advice call the Health Direct Line To talk to a RN or GP after hours 1800 022 222