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Seeking Help to Address Clinician Suicidality

Series: Professional Wellness

Physician suicide rates are higher than suicide rates in the general population, even though they are likely underreported. Yet physician suicide is still a taboo topic in our society. Thankfully, help exists for those at risk, and confidential resources are available.

NORCAL Group Webinar: "What We Have Learned About Physician Suicides And Responsive Measures"
It has been known for decades that, compared with other professionals, physicians have a markedly increased propensity to die by suicide. It is believed that because of clinicians’ knowledge of and access to lethal means, there are fewer barriers to completion of suicide in those who are predisposed. Untreated or undertreated mental illness, primarily depression, is believed to be the major predisposing factor, although substance abuse, job disillusionment, and physician burnout, litigation, and disciplinary investigations may also be significant contributors. This webinar will raise your awareness of clinician suicidality and help prepare you to address the problem proactively.

National Suicide Prevention Lifeline
Call 1-800-273-8255 or chat online at suicidepreventionlifeline.org.
Free and confidential support 24 hours a day, seven days a week for people in suicidal crisis or distress, or for those who are helping a person in crisis.

United States Substance Abuse and Mental Health (SAMHSA) National Helpline
Call 1-800-662-HELP (4357)
SAMHSA is a free and confidential referral and information service with support 24 hours a day, seven days a week for individuals and families facing mental and/or substance use disorders.

Because Silence Is Deadening
The website of Louise B. Andrew, MD JD FACEP focuses on physicians suffering from depression, as well as those who care about them. Depression is a surprisingly common and very serious, yet frequently unrealized, diagnosis among healing professionals, and it is eminently treatable if recognized.

AMA STEPS Forward Toolkit: “Preventing Physician Distress and Suicide”
Downloadable tools to help physicians and health care organizations prevent physician distress and reduce the risk of suicide.