Offering support on National Physician Suicide Awareness Day

September 17, 2021

The rate of suicide among doctors is twice that of the general population, and one of the highest among any profession. The COVID-19 pandemic has exacerbated the stress on physicians. Hundreds of physicians die by suicide each year, including Dr. Lorna Breen in 2020.

Today marks National Physician Suicide Awareness Day, and day to remind physicians, their loved ones and hospitals that there are resources to help. Though many physicians suffer from depression, post-traumatic stress disorder and other mental health issues, they do not seek professional support for fear of reprisal.

National Physician Suicide Awareness Day exists to change this. Hospitals can support physicians by making mental health support accessible in multiple ways, equipping physicians to have meaningful conversations with each other, updating their policies and procedures to maintain dignity and privacy, instituting emotional first aid after adverse events, redesigning and streamlining event review processes and instituting reflective and short center rounds.

We hope you will help us in raising awareness for this critical issue today.

Tim Pfarr
WSHA Communications Director


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