Mental Health Checklist for Dental Professionals

May is Mental Health Awareness Month

By Corinne Jameson-Kuehl

 

It’s no secret that dental professionals’ well-being is suffering. Many are struggling with stress, burnout, and loneliness like never before. The causes are due to dental teams feeling the pressure to work longer hours to accommodate the consistent chaos and financial needs of the practice. The demands of an ever-changing employee climate with team member retention and demand of higher salaries creates a significant stress in dentist-owners and creates a skewed work environment value in dental team members. Complicating matters, dental teams often make themselves less resilient by neglecting their health. They eat too much or too little, don’t get enough sleep, and fail to exercise.

To make the situation more concerning, many dental professionals do not know how to manage their need for wellbeing in a healthy manner, therefore leading to absolute burnout. Just like we tell patients that the oral cavity is connected to the body, so is our mental health connected to our overall physical health and well-being. Dentistry is a highly relational, physically demanding profession, it is imperative that you are at your best as a dental provider to prevent mental health concerns created by stress.

 

Here are 10 questions to ask evaluate your mental health:

 

1. Do I find myself or am I being told I am constantly irritable?
2. Am I so tired when I return from the work day that my family life is suffering?
3. Am I noticing physical symptoms that are negatively impacting my body?
4. Do I find myself canceling personal and professional meetings because I simply don’t “feel” like attending?
5. Am I micromanaging tasks in the practice that I should be delegating?
6. Do I find myself or am I told that “All I think about is work?.”
7. Do I find myself not able to problem solve and find a positive solution?
8. Do I feel guilt when I am taking time to enjoy an outside of work activity?
9. Do I lack sleep when the things at work are not 100%?
10. Am I finding myself using “distractors” as a way to cope with the pressure?

 

Creating strategies can help dental professionals manage stress, burnout, and loneliness while promoting overall well-being. It’s important to remember that seeking support and implementing mental health awareness success are signs of strength, not weakness. Remember, taking care of your health is not a luxury—it’s essential for you and your long-term success. Seek Support; consider hiring a life coach, joining a peer support group or professional network for dental professionals can provide a valuable space to share experiences and strategies for managing stress, burnout and loneliness.

 

Corinne is passionate about helping dental professionals and business owners thrive in their careers. She believes in the power of education and continuous learning, and she is dedicated to providing practical solutions and support to her clients. It brings her great reward to see her clients navigate changes successfully in their personal and professional lives.

Let's prioritize your well-being together. Together, let's pave the path to a healthier, more fulfilling professional journey.