2021 Mental Health Day for Medical Students
World Mental Health Day is celebrated on 10 October every year to draw attention to a variety of issues related to mental health and remind us that we must take care of ourselves. For this reason, certified doctors from the Young Psychiatrist Section of the Latvian Association of Psychiatrists and doctors-residents in psychiatry are offering students from the Rīga Stradiņš University (RSU) Faculty of Medicine the opportunity to participate in Mental Health Day workshops already for the fourth year in a row in cooperation with RSU and the RSU Department of Psychiatry and Narcology. Join the Mental Health Day workshop at 15:00 on 11 October 2021 on Zoom, to talk more about this topic.
Studying medicine are extremely interesting and exciting, but each of us at one point had the though, “I can’t cope any more”; studies become more and more complicated, there is a lot of study material, there are continuous exams, scientific activities, work in parallel with studies, and all of this must be combined with a private life! The result is an increasing psycho-emotional load. Healthcare professionals are most prone to depression, anxiety and burnout.
Without adequate psycho-emotional support, studying medicine can lead to bad sleep quality, anxiety, sexual dysfunction, using addictive substances to cope, and even suicidal thoughts.
The Covid-19 pandemic and changes to the usual rhythm of the day can also be depressing, cause melancholy and increase emotional stress.
To feel happy and fulfil the dream of becoming good doctors, we should not forget about our own psycho-emotional well-being, and we must learn to take care of ourselves in good time.
We are open, knowledgeable, and active residents in psychiatry. You are a medical student. We are peers who have a common experience and feelings about what it’s like to study medicine. We will offer medical students to learn how to improve their psycho-emotional well-being, different stress management strategies, more effective learning strategies and how to manage their resources for learning and leisure, as well as information on how to get help.
Without acting in time, increased levels of stress can lead to both mental and physical health disorders, which can have consequences for the future.
For more information
- Liene Vītola (liene[pnkts]viitolagmail[pnkts]com)
- Vineta Vinogradova (vineta[pnkts]vinogradovarsu[pnkts]lv)
The workshops will be run by members of the Young Psychiatrist Section of the Latvian Association of Psychiatrists:
‘The work of a doctor is full of challenges every day; helping, fighting for a patient, providing treatment selflessly, and not always curing. And yet doctors are only a human and only have their own resources, which are not inexhaustible. There are moments of satisfaction and painful loss. In order to be happy both in the profession and in private life, we need to find a balance and take care of our own psycho-emotional health. Let's be excited to do our work, but let's not burn ourselves out!’
certified psychiatrist and Founder of the Mental Health Day Workshops for Medical Students in 2018
‘I am a doctoral student at RSU in parallel to my work in residency. The topic of my doctoral thesis is “The prevalence of mental disorders and suicidal behaviour in the adult population of Latvia”. The first data obtained from the research is not comforting, and they show that a lot of people in Latvia suffer from untreated or improperly treated mental disorders. This is why I have been organising educational workshops like this for the second year in a row, because I think it is extremely important to teach people, and especially future doctors, how to recognise the signs of mental disorders in themselves and their relatives, and where to seek help.
resident in psychiatry and the Coordinator of the Mental Health Day Workshops for Medical Students 2021
‘The years we spend studying are full of challenges, and it often tests our strengths and our ability to split our attention and resources. To be less confused in this maze and to be able to fulfil our professional dreams, it is important that we learn how to take care of ourselves. That is why I believe that workshops and sharing knowledge and experience is useful.’
resident in child psychiatry and the Coordinator of the Mental Health Day Workshops for Medical Students 2021
‘I believe that one of the most important topics that should be discussed during medical studies is our own health and ways to maintain it. Despite busy schedules we must learn to take care of ourselves and of our own health first (both physical and mental). It is only then that we will be able to learn successfully and fully help our patients. Everyone has heard the saying that “you can’t pour from an empty cup” and that, in my opinion, applies directly to all healthcare workers. I have been actively involved in the workshops for four years, because I want to share knowledge and encourage medical students to take care of their mental health and emotional well-being.’
resident in psychiatry
‘Studies can be like an ultramarathon where you feel so drained you don’t have any strength left to cheer at the finish line. It can seem like your peers are the only ones who understand and can support you the best, which is why I feel I must participate.’
resident in psychiatry
‘I believe that everyone needs to take care of their own health. People mostly have an idea of their physique and basic functions, but when it comes to mental health, they have no idea how to cope with everyday stresses and today’s fast-paced challenges. That is why educational activities in this area are so important. It is a pleasure to participate in this event and share my experience and advice with students.’
resident in psychiatry
‘Everyone can get into difficulties at some point during their lives if their mental health is badly affected. It is good to know how to prepare yourself for these situations and what to do. From my study years, I will always remember Dr. Stašinskis words: “If your gloves are always with you, there's less chance you'll have to use them”.’
resident in psychiatry
‘According to data from the World Health Organisation, one in ten people are suffering from mental disorders and require help. Nowadays, there are many specialists whose profession includes the root word “psyche” (from the Greek meaning soul). The most important thing is that we learn how to recognise our “red flags” when it comes to feelings, words, behaviours to know when to seek help. It is only normal that we take care of our own and our loved ones’ mental health.’
resident in child psychiatry
‘I believe that mental health is the basis for the health of the whole body. A person can only feel good physically, if they also feel good emotionally. However, all of us have emotional and negative experiences, the difference is how we perceive them and whether we seek help when we need it. That is why I am also involved in this project - to speak and normalise this topic, to encourage others to extend their knowledge and seek help to show that things can be different, better and easier.’