Open Arms staff blog about issues related to Employee Assistance Programs and workplace productivity.

Job Stress & Lack of Mental Health Services among Physicians can lead to Suicide

depressed-doctorDoctors have higher suicide rates than others and a recent study sheds new light on this age-old phenomenon. The study – “Details on suicide among US physicians: data from the National Violent Death Reporting System” – published last week in the journal General Hospital Psychiatry found that having an identified mental health disorder – substance abuse or depression for anxiety – and experiencing difficulties at work increased a physician’s risk for suicide. Difficulties at work included, “tensions with a coworker, poor performance reviews, increased pressure, feared layoff” or joblessness – “being recently laid off, having difficulty finding a job.” One of the key considerations? Physicians are often reluctant to seek help because of the stigma associated with mental health issues. Clearly, we need to do a better job of reducing the stigma associated with mental health disorders and work harder to eliminate barriers to care. And hospitals should offer Employee Assistance Programs.

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