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Last year Ahpra released findings from an Expert Advisory Group about identifying and minimising distress for practitioners involved in the regulatory process.

Sadly, it found that 16 health practitioners had taken their lives between January 2018 and December 2021 while involved in regulatory processes, and four practitioners had attempted suicide or had self-harmed.

Optometry Australia staff have been working with Ahpra’s Advisory Group this year to strengthen support for members during the notifications process.

To raise awareness of mental health issues and funds for Lifeline’s suicide prevention hotline, Optometry Australia staff have also joined the Push Up Challenge to complete 3,249 push-ups during the month of June 2024. Why 3,249 push-ups? Sadly, this is the number of Australians who lost their lives to suicide in 2022.

We invite you to please join our community “Assessing fitness to thrive” online and the important conversation about mental health! You can register yourself or your practice staff as a team (and there are many alternatives to just doing push ups). The challenge is designed simply to get you active and provide resources to break down barriers to talking about mental health.

Mental health support and resources

Optometry Australia has also commissioned research into burnout in our profession, and in late 2024 will hold a symposium with university representatives and key employer stakeholders to raise awareness of burnout and mental wellbeing challenges and explore innovative approaches to enhance mental resilience across the field. Our free counselling service for members, podcasts, webinars and other resources can be accessed online. To access them, please visit this page on our website here. 

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Acknowledgement of Country

In the spirit of reconciliation Optometry Australia acknowledges the Traditional Custodians of country throughout Australia and their connections to land, sea and community. We pay our respects to their Elders past and present and extend that respect to all Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander peoples today.