Have you ever heard of the RMBF? Do you know what they do? Well in the spirit of Mental Health Awareness Fortnight, please read on:
The RMBF is a charity founded by our very own Professor Parveen Kumar, that prevents or relieves poverty arising from obstacles in life such as ill health, disability and bereavement that affects doctors and medical students. Some of the ways in which they help is to give regular monthly grants, money advice, Area Visitors or PhoneFriends services. The RMBF recognises that the medical community is often strained and stressed and aims to support anyone that is struggling.
The Freedom of Information Act has recently revealed that more than 1,000 medical students have withdrawn from their course over the last 5 years in the UK and two thirds of medical students have faced financial or mental health pressures.
Many of us often struggle with bereavements and many of us battle mental health problems yet feel like we are lacking support from the medical community around us.
If you feel like the RMBF can help you in any way then please feel free to email firstname.lastname@example.org for more information or email@example.com for any help you are seeking. The charity respects privacy and utmost confidentiality. Also, you can go to www.rmbf.org for more information and guides for doctors and students seeking help and advice.
There is a good leaflet on the website called “The Vital Signs for medical students” and there will be copies at the BLSA reception for anyone that would like one. This guide sets out key pressures that many of us face: how to recognize them and deal with them. It also talks about the culture in the medical community that stigmatizes mental health and aims to build stress resistant doctors rather than building a wellness-supporting environment. If any of this resonates with you, please have a look.
Here is the link for the guide: https://rmbf.org/wp-content/uploads/2017/01/the-vital-signs-for-medical-students.pdf
You can also read about the #medstudentsmatter campaign that highlights the need for more support for us as medical students to help us complete our training. Please also share this post with any other societies/clubs!
However, if you feel like you don’t need the RMBF currently, then that’s okay too! The RMBF want as many people to be aware of them so that in the future, if any need arises, we all know that this is somewhere we can turn to. The RMBF also helps doctors who are going through divorces, struggling to get back to work and even refugee doctors.
We face a lot of stress. It is okay not to “fake it till you make it” and recognize the signs and symptoms that all is not well. Doctors and medical students are not infallible. Your community is here for you!