2016 has been an uncomfortable year in many ways, the final flourish being the prospect of a Trump presidency. It can leave one feeling swept along by events larger than oneself. So how wonderful to learn of a ‘bright spot’ – something to inspire to rather than detract: a study suggesting that being a scout or guide in childhood has a protective effect on mental health decades later, an effect that boosts the mental health especially of those from disadvantaged backgrounds, who usually bear more burden of mental health problems.
It’s at once remarkable that such a simple, low-cost activity can have such a lasting impact, whilst also startlingly obvious that regular connection and sharing challenges with others seems to be such a powerful thing in building lasting resilience.
As sessional GPs, how good are we at tapping into sources of support and avoiding the isolation that is often our lot? In a recent NASGP Facebook poll, over half (30/58) the respondents say they do not have formal meetups with other sessional GPs, with a third (19/58) saying they never meet up at all, and around 20% (11/58) ‘bumping into colleagues informally’.