Hand-n-Hand (Helping Australian & New Zealand Nurses and Doctors) was founded in March 2020 in far north QLD. Initially a response to the COVID-19 pandemic and the growing emotional burden that came with it, we have been amazed with the speed and enthusiasm with which peer support has been adopted. Today, hundreds of participants and volunteer facilitators have signed up to be a part of the growing peer support movement, from just about every healthcare profession imaginable. What we quickly discovered is that there is an ongoing need for peer support beyond the pandemic, and are making efforts to turn Hand-n-Hand into a sustainable, long-term solution that can provide peer support for generations of healthcare workers to come.
Prof Brett McDermott is an Australian medical graduate who trained in Psychiatry, and Child and Adolescent Psychiatry in the UK and Sydney. Apart from being a Professor at the University of Tasmania, he holds other academic appointments: By-Fellow at Churchill College, Cambridge University; Adjunct Professor at JCU; Professorial Fellow at Mater Research and from 2006-2016 was a Board Director of beyondblue: the National Depression Initiative. Current position is the Clinical Director CAMHS Tasmania.
Dr Tahnee Bridson was the Queensland Young Australian of the Year for 2022. Whilst she initially thought of pursuing a career in dance and music, she had a desire to improve the wellbeing and lives of others that led her down the path of medicine. Tahnee, a born and bred country girl from rural Queensland, is a psychiatry doctor and founder of Hand-n-Hand Peer Support Inc. Tahnee has advocated for the wellbeing needs of healthcare workers during the COVID-19 pandemic establishing a peer support network which provides free and confidential support to all healthcare workers across Australia and New Zealand. She is passionate about advancing the field of mental health through research and recently combined these two passions when offered a PhD position in Melbourne.
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