The British Dental Association (BDA) has underlined its intention to tackle stress and anxiety in the dental profession.
The announcement came last week to coincide with Mental Health Awareness Week after research already undertaken by the BDA showed stress in the dental profession is on the rise, while job satisfaction is in decline.
‘For too long stress and anxiety in the dental profession have not received the recognition they deserve,’ chair of the BDA’s principal executive committee, Mick Armstrong, said.
‘We’ve all seen the cost; with friends, colleagues and in our own working lives.
‘Low morale is real issue that can impact on both patients and practitioners, and we are determined to draw a line.’
High levels of stress
BDA research in 2014 showed that 39% of community dentists and almost half of GDPs reported high levels of stress.
This compared with an average of around 15% for British workers and so the BDA has now committed to ensuring that dentists are supported, and will seek to tackle the underlying reasons for low levels of morale and job satisfaction as part of its strategy for the next three years.
‘We already know that wellbeing among the dental population is significantly lower than the general population,’ Mick Armstrong continued.
‘We intend to build on our existing work, so that we can ensure dentists get the support they need when they need it, and so we can start tackling these problems at source.
‘We are in the process of finalising our strategy for the next three years.
‘As a trade union and professional organisation we are resolved to put the wellbeing of our members and our profession at the forefront of our efforts.’
Research on dentists
Over the next two years, the BDA will be carrying out research on dentists’ experiences of mental ill health and burnout, and the impact these can have on their work and career.
The research will inform BDA work in an aim to promote the wellbeing of dentists at work and support those who experience burnout or mental-health problems.