Healthcare team members are healers, working to improve the health of others. However, all too often, they deprioritize or sacrifice their own wellbeing to do so. Unfortunately, such healthcare professionals have significantly higher suicide risk than than individuals in the general population, and at least one study has estimated that 300 physicians die by suicide in the U.S. each year. COVID-19 has exacerbated the stress and burnout already felt by many healthcare professionals, but many do not seek treatment for fear of stigma or professional repercussions.
ACU’s latest publication examines the scope of suicide risk in healthcare professionals and provides organizational approaches to support primary care providers and team members while reducing suicide risk. This fact sheet provides an overview of suicide risk in healthcare team members including physicians, nurse practitioners/physician assistants, and nurses, as well as Suicide Safer Care strategies for managerial training to address suicide risk, approaches to creating cultures of wellness, and postvention strategies to support survivors of deaths by suicide.
More Resources on Preventing Suicide in Providers, Staff, and Patients
Using the Zero Suicide framework as a foundation and with the generous support of the Centene Corporation, the Association of Clinicians for the Underserved has created the Suicide Safer Care curriculum to train primary care providers and their teams on skills for suicide risk assessment, evidence-based interventions, referral and transition when needed, and fundamentally changing the culture of addressing suicide risk across healthcare professionals’ clinical practice. Learn more about the curriculum and useful resources for primary care providers.