The MPS Foundation has partnered with FDI World Dental Federation (FDI) on a project aimed to raise awareness of the importance of managing mental health and develop further resources for oral health professionals.

The FDI project – which is in its second phase – will run until December 2025. The project activities will revolve around the World Mental Health Day in October to raise awareness of and destigmatise mental health issues in dentistry. It will focus on dental professionals and students, promoting and extending the resources and tools created in the first phase of the project.

The successful first phase resulted in the production of an online mental health toolkit for dental professionals, dental practices and national dental associations, as well as resources like podcasts to address challenges faced by individuals and practices.

In the second phase, the project aims to:

  • Raise awareness of the importance of addressing mental health issues and wellbeing for dental practitioners and dental students, including the impact of patient dental phobia on practitioner mental health.
  • Challenge stigma by normalising the discussion of mental health issues around dentistry.
  • Develop resources and training materials for dental team members and dental students to address specific challenges.
  • Develop resources for patients, to prevent and manage dental anxiety and fear of visits to the dentist.

Dr Graham Stokes, dentist and MPS Foundation chair, said: “We are pleased to partner with FDI on this important project to support dental professionals with mental wellbeing. The project sits well with the Foundation’s and Dental Protection’s objectives, and we look forward to seeing the insights that will arise from it.

“Our research has shown that increasingly more dental professionals deal with stress, worry and anxiety, which can result in serious mental health issues. These situations can also affect the quality of care provided and negatively impact on patients’ wellbeing.

“All stakeholders in the dental profession have a responsibility to promote mental health and wellbeing for dental professionals and dental students who are exposed to high levels of stress and burnout.

“Dental Protection members facing mental wellbeing concerns can continue to make use of our 24/7 counselling service and other wellbeing support available as a benefit of membership. The service is provided through a third-party partner and is completely confidential.”