Availability of psychological support for medical students in Poland
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Medical University of Gdańsk, Gdańsk, Poland (Department of Psychology)
Medical University of Gdańsk, Gdańsk, Poland (Faculty of Medicine)
Online publication date: 2020-11-13
Corresponding author
Maciej Walkiewicz   

Medical University of Gdańsk, Department of Psychology, Tuwima 15, 80-210 Gdańsk, Poland
Int J Occup Med Environ Health. 2021;34(1):87-99
Referred to by: Milczyńska W, de Wolf A, Mohindra A. Letter to the Editor (September 10, 2021) concerning the paper “Availability of psychological support for medical students in Poland”. Int J Occup Med Environ Health. Int J Occup Med Environ Health. 2021;34(6):821–2, https://doi.org/10.13075/ijomeh.1896.01915.

Objectives: Medical students suffer from a considerable level of stress, which can result in the deterioration of their mental health, including depression or suicidal ideation. They are afraid to seek help due to stigmatization and environmental ostracism. The goal of the study is to analyze the psychological support and stress management programs for students supported by medical schools in Poland Material and Methods: The authors sent out e-mails with 9 questions regarding the issue being analyzed to all 19 medical schools in Poland. They obtained answers from 15 such schools, which corresponds to a response rate of 79%. The study was conducted in 2018–2019, before the SARS-CoV-2 pandemic. Results: Due to the lack of central regulations, support is provided by medical schools individually. Those solutions focus on short-term, temporary therapy. If a longer therapy is needed, students are redirected to external health providers. Moreover, information about the support is not transferred by student-friendly communication channels. Conclusions: Support should be flexible, and it should quickly adapt to the emerging trends and consider students’ feedback. A future model of psychological support could be a center organized as a transfer point between a university problem-solving facility and external health providers, concentrating on short-term activity. Quick support would eliminate potential complications and more serious mental problems. Int J Occup Med Environ Health. 2021;34(1):87–99
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