We all know how hard working in healthcare can be. It’s mentally and emotionally exhausting. Many days, it’s physically exhausting. But I have never really realized just how much the stress can bear down on us after a while. According to nationwide study in Australia, suicide rates for healthcare workers were astounding.
The study not only encompassed healthcare personnel, but every working adult between the ages of 20 and 70, during a 12-year time span. About 3.8% of suicides in Australia between the years 2001 and 2012 were healthcare personnel.
Suicide rates for female health professionals were
higher than for women in other occupations…
Hanging seems to be the prominent method of suicide in non-healthcare personnel. In employees that had access to pharmaceuticals, death by poison was the method of choice.
Overall, more suicides were committed by men than women. However, in regards to healthcare, women appeared to have been more at risk for suicide. Of the healthcare affiliated women, most of the suicides were committed by nurses or midwives.
It is apparent that there needs to be more assessment and intervention with patients who are at risk for suicide. Healthcare worker suicide is a problem in other countries, as well. Some facilities have therapists specifically for employees.
“Our results indicate the need for targeted prevention of suicide by health professionals…”
Consider it a responsibility to share suicide awareness. Healthcare personnel should always have help available if needed. If you are having suicidal thoughts, call an emergency response team immediately for help. Don’t suffer it alone.