National Physician Suicide Awareness Day
It is important to remember that the vast majority of doctors do not kill themselves. Most doctors thrive in their working environment. But each death is a tragedy which sends repercussions through the system.
Sadly, at PHS we have had patients who have taken their own lives. Throughout time and across the world, doctors have always had higher rates of suicide compared with the general population and with other professional groups. Female doctors in particular have higher rates, 2.5–4.0 times increased rate of suicide compared to an age matched group. The reasons for suicide among doctors, as in the general population, are often related to untreated or under-treated depression, bipolar disorder, or substance misuse.
We know that there are specific risk factors including GMC involvement, complaints and a lack of support structure around the doctor.
However accessing support through a service like ours or one of the many organisations designed to help with suicidal thoughts could make all the difference in the world.