National Physician Suicide Awareness Day
September is Suicide Prevention Month, and September 17 was National Physician Suicide Awareness Day. We recognize this day to create awareness about the epidemic of physician suicide, to remember colleagues lost to suicide, and to fight against the stigma of physicians seeking mental health support.
- Physicians die by suicide at a rate that is more than double the general population – as many as 400 per year.
- Physicians and trainees can experience high degrees of distress in their jobs but are less likely than other members of the public to seek mental health treatment.
- 28% of residents experience a major depressive episode during their training versus 7-8% of similarly aged individuals in the US.
How You Can Help
If something seems off with a colleague, ask if they are okay. Know the risk factors and warning signs of suicidality.
Talk about it – breaking the silence and sharing your own challenges can be therapeutic and can also reassure others that they are not alone.
Know where you can go for support or where to refer a colleague or friend:
- National Suicide Prevention Lifeline: 800-273-8255 or live chat at https://suicidepreventionlifeline.org/
- Physician Support Line: 888-409-0141 (psychiatrist staffed, 8am-1pm EST)
- At NGHS, you can schedule an appointment with our Employee Assistance Program/Resident Assistance Program by calling 770-219-3161. Our EAP services are free of charge, completely confidential, and do not utilize EPIC.
To learn more about our GME Wellness program, visit https://www.ngmcgme.org/office-gme/resident-wellness/.