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Only 12 calls in debut month, but helpline outlines doctors’ mental health issues | Mumbai News


DURING its first operational month, the specialized mental health helpline for resident doctors —14499– has received only 12 calls from medical students across the state. While the response may seem less, these calls have outlined the much-neglected mental health issues encountered by medical students, ranging from work-induced stress and anxiety.

Resident doctors in public medical colleges endure gruelling conditions, marked by extended working hours and an overwhelming patient load, leading to depression, anxiety, burnout, and despondency. To address these unattended mental health concerns, the medical education department launched the helpline on July 12.

As of August 5, the helpline recorded around 70 calls—of which only 12 were made by medical students across the state. “The students mostly complained about anxiety related to work and personal family issues. We have referred them to the nearby government hospital for further counselling,” said Dr Ajay Chandanwale, Joint Director (Medical) of the Directorate of Medical Education and Research (DMER).

“The helpline, operating 24/7, acts as a dedicated platform for resident doctors to discuss their challenges confidentially. It provides a safe space for them to express their emotions, seek guidance, and access professional counselling,” he added.

The recent tragic suicide of a 27-year-old first year resident doctor from KEM hospital again outlined the ‘toxic working conditions’—working for 48 hours at a stretch, inhumane treatment by senior doctors, poor living conditions, lack of basic amenities including clean bathrooms especially in rural government medical colleges.





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