Dr Tahnee Bridson

Dr Tahnee Bridson

2021 Early Career College Recipient, College of Medicine and Dentistry

Growing up in a rural town in Far North Queensland, Dr Tahnee Bridson experienced first-hand the challenges of accessing medical care in rural locations. It was these challenges that inspired Dr Bridson to pursue a career in medicine.

During her medical studies, one of Dr Bridson's mentors ended their own life. It was at this point she realised that too many health professionals and medical students were suffering in silence – afraid to seek help because of shame or stigma around mental health. Dr Bridson started a small WhatsApp chat group that linked these health professionals with their peers, who had experience in mental wellbeing.

In just two years, that simple WhatsApp group has grown into a wide network of over 2000 health professionals volunteering and connecting to support each other through tough times. It has become the Hand-n-Hand Peer Support Foundation.

The overwhelming success of the Hand-n-Hand Peer Support Foundation has led Dr Bridson to dedicate her career to improving mental health in the field of medicine. She has recently taken up a role as a PhD student with Orygen whilst completing her psychiatry training and is the Queensland recipient of the 2022 Young Australian of the Year award.

Dr Bridson is keen to foster awareness that suicide and mental health is much higher in doctors and health professionals than in any other profession and by introducing peer support to healthcare settings, Hand-n-Hand has the potential to change the culture of workplaces all around the country. For Dr Bridson, the possibilities are endless.

Dr Tahnee Bridson graduated James Cook University in 2017 with a Bachelor of Medical Science with First Class Honours and a Bachelor of Medicine, Bachelor of Surgery. She was awarded the Rural Doctor’s Association of Queensland Prize, the Townsville Hospital Emergency Department Trust Fund Critical and Crisis Care Year 6 Prize and the University Medal.