Award-win­ning GP help­ing stu­dents with men­tal health

Bath Chronicle - - NEWS -

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. bhealthand­­ets/

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

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