Award-winning GP helping students with mental health
The Bristol and Bath Health and Care Awards 2018 takes place at Bristol Harbour Hotel on October 24. It will bring together some of our two cities very best healthcare heroes. For more information about the awards or how you can join us for the celebration - along with a three course meal and drinks, go to www. bhealthandcareawards.co.uk/event/tickets/
A former winner of a Bristol and Bath Health Care award has set up her own consultancy helping universities to improve their student support. Award-winning GP Dr Dominque Thompson has been a doctor at the University of Bristol for the last 17 years. Last year the former director of the University of Bristol Students’ Health Service won Health Care Professional of the Year. She passed on her wisdom at a Tedx talk at Bath Abbey on September 29 entitled ‘What I learnt from 78,000 GP consultations with university students.’ Dr Thompson said: “The topic appeals to parents and grandparents, and is obviously relevant for teachers and lecturers. In the audience there was a whole range of people. The talk went very well and we had the beautiful backdrop of Bath Abbey. I try to make the talk applicable and accessible,.” Dr Thompson and 11 other speakers were asked to talk about something in an original way. “They asked to give us a new take on an old idea”, Dr Thompson explained. “I also wanted to give a call to action at the end, give people something they can do to help so they don’t feel so helpless in this time of mental health prevalence.” Dr Thompson explains just how prevalent mental health issues have become. “When I started out it was one or two out of 30 appointments a day,” she said. “When I left last year it was 50 percent of cases and on a challenging day it was nine out of 10!” “Nowadays 90 per cent of counselling services have seen a rise in demand. [For my talk] I focused on what I thought might be the reasons for the rise and what we, as a society, could do about it,.” She went on: “What I noticed is that society has become more competitive and we’ve made having fun more competitive. Things we used to do as down time like cooking, singing, sewing, even making cakes and falling in love on an island, they are all competitive now. What message does that give to young people around us? “The basic message was that we have made fun things competitive and that has caused a documented rise in perfectionism. This documented rise has come from a study by Curran and Hill called ‘Perfectionism is increasing over time.’ “This matters because perfectionism is closely related to depression and mental health problems,” explains Dr Thompson. “Two things I ask everyone to do is to tell young people around them is when things don’t go well around you. One is to normalise things, and that tell young people when stuff doesn’t work out and so they can see it’s okay and to do stuff and it’ll work out. “The other thing is to stop making everything a competition that could be fun. There are plenty of things that we do that we do that don’t have to be competitive,” she said. She is also currently writing several books to support student mental health, and to help parents of students, at what can be a challenging time. To find out more about Dr Dominique Thompson then head to her website or follow her on Twitter @Drdomthompson Now it’s that time of year to find a new set of health care professionals and businesses to celebrate. The Bristol and Bath Health Care Awards are held annually to honour those working in our local health and care institutions who work tirelessly to keep us all well. There are a range of other categories – GP Practice of the Year, Best Innovation and Outstanding Achievement are just some of the titles you could give to someone who has helped you or a loved one.
...90 per cent of counselling services have seen a rise in demand
Dr Dominique Thompson