National Physician Suicide Awareness Day

National Physician Suicide Awareness Day

Shine a Light.   Speak its name.

September 17, 2018


In 2016, emergency medicine lost one of its residents to suicide.  This tragic death differed from so many others in which a physician died by his or her own hand. Yet, this type of tragedy typically passes in time with silence and secrecy.   A shocking, painfully open letter sent by that resident's Program Director, Christopher Doty, called on us to 'shine a light' on the problem and to 'speak its name'.

In 2017, the national emergency medicine organizations (AAEM, ACEP, ACOEP, CORD, EMRA, SAEM and RSA) came together to become partners with the suicide prevention community for World Suicide Prevention Day.  In addition, these same organizations collaborated together to develop a customized media campaign #BeThe1 to spread awareness of physician suicide.

This year the CORD Board of Directors approved a next step by designating a specific day, September 17, as National Physician Suicide Awareness Day.   This day is in the middle of Suicide Prevention Month and one week after World Suicide Prevention Day.   As physicians who specialize in dealing with every kind of crisis, we should take the lead in drawing awareness to this deadly crisis which takes 300-400 of our colleagues each year.  Awareness is the first step toward prevention. We must shine a light and speak its name.

CORD invites other EM organizations, the suicide prevention community and the entire house of medicine to join with them in recognizing September 17, 2018 as National Physician Suicide Awareness Day.

 

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