Support available for primary health workers as pressure rises

Healthy North Coast is calling for community members to be patient, respectful and kind to practice staff when trying to book a COVID-19 vaccination appointment.

North Coast medical practices are reporting their phone lines are extremely busy due to the overwhelming number of calls they are receiving as vaccine eligibility widens.

This situation, where demand for the Pfizer vaccine is currently outstripping supply, is causing stress and anxiety for all concerned, including under-pressure GPs.

Adding to these stress levels in far northern NSW are the restrictions in place at the NSW/Queensland border.

At this difficult time, we acknowledge the tremendous efforts and commitment of all primary health workers supporting our communities through the COVID-19 pandemic.

Recognising the absolute importance of primary health care workers looking after their own mental and emotional wellbeing, we continue to offer our local workforce free access to Healthy North Coast’s Employee Assistance Program.

To access the program delivered by AccessEAP, please phone 1800 818 728 and mention Healthy North Coast.

There is also a dedicated Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander employee assistance support line, 1800 861 085.

Healthy North Coast also offers support through Primary Care Impact to help frontline staff manage anxious or demanding patients during the COVID-19 and influenza vaccination rollouts. This activity can assist your team to maintain strong communication skills and staff wellbeing during challenging times.

The Primary Care Impact page includes information and resources that are applicable at any time when supporting anxious and demanding patients, but never more so than during this difficult time.

You can access a free in-house MediCoach workshop tailored to your practice needs. For more information or further assistance, contact your Primary Health Coordinator or Aboriginal Health Coordinator.

Wellbeing resources

For more information and resources on supporting clinician mental wellbeing, visit:

Mental Health Practitioner Directory

Frequently Asked Questions

Any AHPRA or AASW registered mental health practitioner providing services in the Mid North Coast and/or Northern NSW.

Social workers, psychotherapists and counsellors are ineligible to list in the directory.

By listing, you will let GPs, other referrers and consumers know that you are practising in Mid North Coast and/or Northern NSW. You can provide information such as where you are located, the services you provide, the population groups you support and your clinical interests.

No, the directory is a free service provided by Healthy North Coast.

This directory enables you to provide real-time information about your availability to accept referrals, as well as how long people may have to wait for an appointment. You can update this information as your availability changes. This will help GPs and other referrers ensure they only refer clients to practitioners who have the capacity to see them.

It also has a range of advanced search options and supports printing and bookmarking of search results.

You can choose to display your email address and your phone number so that people can contact you directly. You may prefer not to display these, in which case people can contact you by completing an enquiry form located in the Directory. Your choices can be updated anytime.

You can indicate wait times for an appointment for a new client or that you are currently unable to accept new referrals. You can also choose whether to display or hide your contact details. You can update your choices at any time.

Yes, you can update your listing or remove it at any time by clicking the “update practitioner details” button on your listing. You will receive a secure website link to your nominated admin email that will enable you to make changes, delete or put your listing on hold. You can also show when you are taking extended leave or are not available for a specific period, rather than completely removing your listing.

We will also send you an email every three months (90 days) prompting you to check that your information is up to date.

You will be responsible for managing the information in your listing and ensuring that it is up to date. You will also be asked to check the information before it is published in the directory.

We will also send you an email every three months (90 days) prompting you to check that your information is up to date so that the directory displays accurate information.

You can read the full Terms of Use by clicking here.