Residents have access to two 24-hour confidential support residents are encouraged to connect with the Employee and Family Assistance Program (VCH Lifeworks Portal) or the Physician Health Program (PHP). Residents can also find wellness resources at the UBC Resident Wellness office. The CMA also has a Physician Wellness Hub including a support phone line.
Supporting Residents' Emotional and Mental Wellbeing
The CMA has a Physician Wellness Hub offering information and resources to residents, as well as a support line if you are in distress.
- Cognitive Behavioural Therapy
- Introduction to CBT (including worksheets and book recommendations)
- Behavioural Activation – Depression (includes worksheets)
- Over two hundred resources (including worksheets) on problems you want to target such as anxiety, depression, PTSD, and many more
- Employee and Family Assistance Program
All residents are eligible for services through the Vancouver Coastal Health LifeWorks Employee and Family Assistance Program. Residents are able to log in directly to the VCH portal to access services information. They can also log in to the LifeWorks digital platform to access support. All residents have been emailed a personalized code to access the platform. For any questions, please email email@example.com.
Services include counselling, financial support, and elderly and child care. For a full list, please click here to view the pamphlet or log in to to the VCH portal.
- Physican Health Program of BC
The Physician Health Program of BC offers services to Resident Doctors and their family members. A complete description of these services is available on the Physician Health Program website.
- Resiliency Resources
- Respect & No Bully Line
The No Bully Line is a confidential phone service for Vancouver Coastal Health employees that offers:
- Opportunity to debrief your experience
- Information and coaching on how to resolve disrespectful conduct
- Support with filing formal complaint with Human Resources
- Referral to free, confidential counselling and/or specialized coaching
The line is answered by a No Bully Line associate that specializes in supporting individuals dealing with bullying and harassment in the workplace.
The line is staffed Monday to Friday from 8:30 am to 4:30 pm. If you call outside of working hours, you can leave a message and someone will return your call.
- Sleep Hygiene
- MindShift™ CBT (free CBT resources from Anxiety Canada)
- Sleep with me (free podcast)
- Headspace (sleep section includes meditations and bedtime stories)
- Calm (sleep stories)
- Noisli (sleep sounds – can also mix and match sounds to create your perfect sound environment to sleep)
- Slumber (sleep music, soundscapes, stories and meditations)
- Sleepiest (sleep sounds, meditations, bedtime stories – includes kid stories too!)
- Threats and Harassment
It is illegal in Canada to harass and/or intimidate health care workers in their work, or intimidate others from obtaining health services. Click here to find out what this new law means for physicians. The CMA has a section available for resources and support for residents experiencing threats or harassment.
- UBC Resident Wellness Office
The Resident Wellness Office offers free, confidential, professional counselling and support services. Interested in speaking to a Wellness Counsellor? Book an Appointment!
Administrative Hours: Monday to Friday, 8:30am – 4:30pm
* early morning and evening appointments available on select days
Download the Resident Wellness Resources guidebook for more resources and information on staying well during residency.
Connect with your program about joining or hosting “Ice Cream Rounds“, facilitated by the Wellness Office where residents can connect in groups for various discussions, all the while enjoying ice cream. Check out the Office’s “Ideas For Wellness Initiatives in Your Program” to see what else your program can participate in.
The Office also offers the Peer Support Program, which offers Residents who experience an adverse event in the work environment an opportunity to talk to another Physician (Faculty or Senior Residents) for support in a confidential, non-judgmental environment.
- Wellness Resources for Medical Staff
VCH has a dedicated wellness resources for medical staff, including residents.
Available resources to support Indigenous VCH staff and medical staff who have been affected by personal, family or community experiences with residential schools.
LifeWorks Employee and Family Assistance Program (EFAP) services
VCH staff (including agency staff), medical staff, medical residents and their eligible family members can access counselling, and wellness services any time, 24/7.
To request LifeWorks support, please call 1-833-533-1577. During the intake process, you can request counsellor attributes such as lived-experience or experience with Indigenous Cultural Competency or generational trauma.
Additional Resources for Indigenous People:
The following resources are available to support Indigenous patients, clients, and staff:
National Indian Residential School Crisis Line: 1-866-925-4419
National service for anyone experiencing pain or distress as a result of their residential school experience. Support is available 24/7.
Indian Residential School Survivors Society Counselling Services: 1-800-721-0066
Provides emotional support and crisis counselling to Indian Residential School Survivors, Intergenerational Survivors and their families.
Hope for Wellness Help Line: 1-855-242-3310
Immediate mental health counselling and crisis intervention by phone to all Indigenous people across Canada. Online chat: hopeforwellness.ca
KUU-US Crisis Line Society: 1-800-588-8717
Provides crisis services for Indigenous people in BC. Adults/Elders line: 250-723-4050. Children/youth line: 250-723-2040
Métis Crisis Line: 1-833-MétisBC (1-833-638-4722)
Mental health support line from Métis Nation British Columbia.
MMIWG Crisis Line: 1-844-413-6649
Support for individuals impacted by issues of Missing and Murdered Indigenous Women and Girls. Support is available 24/7.
- Wellness Wednesday Virtual Workshop Series
Resident Doctors of BC believes in supporting the emotional and mental well-being of residents. We are available to provide referrals to promote resident health and well-being.
Read the great wellness resources and tips submitted by your fellow residents:
Take a step back from studying/stressing and go for a paddle board. It combines exercise with a low-stress environment, and a little fresh air is guaranteed to make you feel refreshed and energized.
A good night of sleep and 1h bike ride/day, keeps the Doctor away!
Exercise regularly, Make time for friends and family, Take time to think of one positive thing that happened to you each week
There’s no question about it, as a resident body, our coffee consumption is massive! What can I say? It keeps us awake to fulfill the heavy demands of residency. Coffee obviously contributes to dehydration and other adverse effects that paradoxically will make us feel less than optimal. So….after your first cup of morning coffee, how about filling your mug with water – hot or cold – and sip on it throughout the day…tada – H2O intake accounted for 🙂
I do a quick 30min run every morning to keep myself sane. Tucking my baby girl into bed every night also makes me forget most of the work-related stress.
Going for brunch with my co-residents!
My wellness tip is to continue to exercise. I practice martial arts 2-3 times a week that includes a mix of kung-fu and tai-chi. I also try to hang out with my friends from outside of medicine for movies and other activities.
Getting at least 8 hours of sleep every night (except nights I’m on call!)
Join Vancouver/Okanagan Urban Rec: They run many great co-ed sports leagues including soccer, basketball, floor hockey, volleyball, dodgeball, etc. You can sign up as an individual or as a team. It’s low cost, well organized, and participants are typically quite friendly and respectful.
Stay connected to your close supports such as your family or friends despite our busy schedules.
Book massages with a friend in your program after academic half day.
A long nap in the sun post call always melts away the stress of being on call.
I commute to and from work by running – gives me a chance to wake up in the morning, to clear my head after work, work out and get my 10 km in per day!
Biking to work
Always make time for exercise no matter how tired or how busy you are. It’s putting yourself first and you will never regret a workout. Even if you book yourself in with a personal trainer to keep yourself accountable, it’s worth every penny.
Buy a foldable clothes drying rack and hang your laundry It allows you to feel productive while accomplishing a chore, while taking a few minutes out of your busy day to slow down. It is also environmentally-friendly, and on a lucky day in BC, allows lets you soak in some sunshine!