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    The impact of changes in mental health legislation on Psychiatry trainee stress in Victoria, Australia

    Lai, R. and Teoh, Kevin and Plakiotis, C. (2023) The impact of changes in mental health legislation on Psychiatry trainee stress in Victoria, Australia. In: Vlamos, P. (ed.) GeNeDis 2022. Advances in Experimental Medicine and Biology 1425. Springer, pp. 199-205. ISBN 9783031319853.

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    Abstract

    In Victoria, Australia, the introduction of a new state Mental Health Act (MHA) in 2014 resulted in changes to the workload and type of work undertaken by trainee psychiatrists. In addition to long working hours, workload intensity is most often cited by trainees as a factor that leads to fatigue, with trainees often taking work home or doing overtime in order to fulfill work responsibilities and satisfy training requirements. This administrative burden is compounded by the high emotional burden associated with the practice of psychiatry, including patient suicides, aggression, and threats. This study aimed to explore the impact of these legislative changes on psychiatry trainees’ stress and well-being, using a qualitative research methodology involving semi-structured interviews. Despite reporting that the length and number of reports they were preparing under the new MHA had increased, as had the amount of time spent at Tribunal hearings, psychiatry trainees were understanding of the necessity of MHA changes in improving patient rights. The trainees did not express a desire for the MHA changes to be reversed, but rather recognition by their workplaces that changes are also needed at a ground level—such as an increase in staff numbers—to accommodate for these. While mental health legislative changes are designed to improve the system and better protect patient rights, measures must also be taken to ensure that any policy-level changes are adequately adjusted for in hospital staffing levels.

    Metadata

    Item Type: Book Section
    School: Birkbeck Faculties and Schools > Faculty of Business and Law > Birkbeck Business School
    Depositing User: Kevin Teoh
    Date Deposited: 01 Sep 2023 12:11
    Last Modified: 01 Sep 2023 15:37
    URI: https://eprints.bbk.ac.uk/id/eprint/51813

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