Today, September 17, is National Physician Suicide Awareness Day. As you take care of others, please ensure that you are taking care of yourself.
Today, September 17, is National Physician Suicide Awareness Day. As we are all well aware, physician suicide is a tremendous issue in health care.
The literature shows the relative risk for suicide being 2.27 times greater among female physicians and 1.41 times higher among male physicians versus the general population. Each physician suicide is a devastating loss affecting everyone – family, friends, colleagues and up to 1 million patients per year. It is both a very personal loss and a public health crisis.
As you take care of others, please ensure that you are taking care of yourself. In addition, it is important to break down stigma, increase awareness, and empower ourselves to reach out to colleagues who may be at risk. The Physicians Foundation has created this webpage to help others learn the warning signs to look for in a colleague who may be suicidal.
UNC Health and the UNC School of Medicine also offer extensive support resources. Colleagues and providers are urged to practice self-care and use these resources. Please, reach out if you are in need of help.