Why Professionals Need Help?
“Health Professionals have a higher rate of addiction than the general public!” This simply is not true. What is true, however, is that due to certain occupational hazards of prolonged corporeal and emotional stress doctors and allied health professionals are apt candidates for substance use disorders. Professional pride may play a significant role in a reluctance to admit the need for help. The closest to you: family members, colleagues, and staff become confused as to how to deal with the situation and their bewilderment may lead to a “Conspiracy of Silence,” threatening not only the well-being of the depressed or addicted person’s life, but also that of their patients’.
Who Can Help?
Montana Professional Assistance Program (MPAP) has the stated purpose of addressing the problems of the distressed healthcare professional whose ability to practice may be diminished due to substance abuse or dependence, psychiatric illness, distressed behavior, professional sexual misconduct or problems associated with the aging process. MPAP is a nonprofit corporation located in Billings and is under exclusive contract with the Montana Boards of Medical Examiners, Dentistry, Nursing and Pharmacy. Funding comes from special assessment on licensure fees.
How Does the Process Begin?
Response begins immediately once a referral is received. The referral can be a self-referral or from a concerned family member, significant other, staff person, colleague and /or hospital administrator. The next step is to collect pertinent information to effectively evaluate the situation and once completed, a decision is made on how best to proceed. Services provided by MPAP include:
- INTERVENTION: MPAP staffs and facilitates a group of concerned persons to confront the referral and to identify appropriate resources for evaluation of needs.
- REFERRAL: To a treatment program known to be skilled in working with the distressed practitioner.
- CONTINUING CARE: MPAP assists with guided reentry of the professional back into the workplace and /or community, offers education for family members and assists with relapse prevention.
- MONITORING: MPAP keeps records of random toxicology testing to verify the participant’s continued recovery and serves as an accountability partner.
- ADVOCACY: MPAP advocates for the participant with the licensing boards, insurance companies, hospital committees and other governing agencies.
What Are the Warning Signs?
If you can answer yes to one or more of the following questions, you may need our help:
- Are you experiencing problems coping with patients or the normal stress of a busy practice?
- Do you become easily depressed, angered or abusive?
- Do you consume more than a moderate amount of alcohol or is your drinking considered “out of control?”
- Do you self-prescribe or divert for self-use any medications?
- Are you experiencing any sexual problems: impotency or affairs?
- Do you find yourself slowing down or overtired?
- Do you constantly place a precedence for work over personal and/or family needs?
- Are you experiencing financial or legal problems: malpractice suite, divorce, DUI?
When – Is Up to You
- If you feel that you or a colleague needs help, do not be part of the continuing problem – BE PART OF THE SOLUTION by calling for help. The number is 406-245-4300. All information is received and held in strictest confidence. BREAK THE CONSPIRACY OF SILENCE!
- Montana Professional Assistance Program has an ongoing commitment to provide educational programs and workshops to promote wellness for Montana physicians, dentists, nurses, pharmacists and other healthcare professionals. If you or your organization would like more information, please call 406-245-4300.
- MPAP, Inc. is a 501(c)(3) private non-profit corporation. We gratefully accept tax deductible contributions and planned giving from prospective benefactors and friends of the Program. All donations are applied to our Financial Assistance Fund to help offset the costs of evaluation or treatment to qualified colleagues.