September is Suicide Prevention Awareness Month —a time to raise awareness of this stigmatized, and often taboo, topic. By focusing on suicide prevention, we hope to shift the public perception of suicide, spread hope and share vital information to people affected by suicide.
September 17 narrows down the demographics quite a bit and focuses on suicide among the profession of physicians. Many do not realize that physicians have the highest suicide rate among any profession. National Physician Suicide Awareness Day serves as a reminder and a call to action: to make time to talk – and to act – so physician struggles don’t become mental health emergencies.
We must shift the current practice landscape to better support a culture of wellbeing as well as come together to take the necessary actions to reduce burnout, safeguard job satisfaction, remove barriers to seeking mental health services and destigmatize seeking these services. There are six actions to help reduce physician burnout and ensure physicians’ struggles don’t become mental health emergencies:
- Learn the Vital Signs
- Share suicide prevention resources
- Prepare before a moment of crisis
- Check in with a physician
- Understand and remove structural barriers
- Create a culture of wellbeing
Responder First Nursing is proud to take action to prevent physician suicide by sharing resources to help improve physician wellbeing, including suicide prevention resources, tips for starting important conversations about mental health, a crisis management plan, medication management, therapy and more. Visit our website, responderfirstnursing.com, to view our services as well as follow us on FB (Responder First Nursing) and IG (@responderfirstnursing).
If you are someone who employs physicians, visit NPSADay.org to learn more about actions you can take to prevent suicide, to learn the warning signs of suicide and how you can take action. If you or someone you know needs help, don’t wait. Call or text 988 or chat 988lifeline.org to reach the Suicide & Crisis Lifeline.