As a union that represents resident and fellow physicians that are overworked, underpaid, and underappreciated; and an entity that advocates for the wellbeing, safety, and power of doctor trainees, we wanted to produce a permanent list of resources to be available to our members and others.
Doctors have the highest suicide rate of any profession. It is common to feel anxious, overwhelmed, and inadequate because of the exploitative and debilitating medical education system. Cases of suicide and negative impacts on mental health are completely preventable, and exactly why we will continue to fight for resident safety, fair pay, reasonable patient loads, hour and scheduling limits, access to mental health and other needed services, and more. Please know that we have a staff, board, and community ready and willing to listen, talk, or assist in any way. The following resources are available at any time.
- UW GME Wellness Service: GME offers free, unlimited, confidential counseling services to residents, fellows, their partners, and spouses. To make an appointment online, use this link [schedulicity.com]. They offer day and evening appointments. In our new contract, mental health appointments are covered under sick leave and GME Wellness Counselors now prioritize residents with an urgent need for mental health services.
- Physician Support Line: This is a confidential phone line that operates 7 days a week from 8am-1am EST. Licensed psychiatrists provide support. (888) 409-0141
- National Suicide Prevention Lifeline (988): 988 is the new three-digit number to receive mental health crisis support from licensed practitioners at local and regional crisis centers. You can call or text 988 24/7. Their website also provides more specific suicide prevention resources.
- UW Medicine Employee Mental Health Resources: Another list of resources within the UW Medicine community for mental health support in formal and informal settings.
- CareLink: 24/7 resource available to for all UW employees and their family members. You can get free, confidential access to guidance consultants in navigating life’s challenges including counseling, financial or legal consultation. Call (866) 598-3978.
- King County Crisis Line: 24-hour crisis line in King County that provides immediate support for those in emotional crisis. You can call 1 (866) 427-4747 or (206) 461-3222.
- Emotional PPE Project: The projects connects healthcare workers in need with licensed mental health professionals who can help. No cost. No insurance. Just a trained professional to talk to.
- Harbor-UCLA Medical Center released a short film on resident suicide for National Physician Suicide Awareness Day this year.
The following are resources for co-residents/fellows, friends, family members, and partners looking for more information on physician suicide and how to get help for a loved one:
- How to Approach a Loved One at Risk: This AFSP resource goes over initial conversation tips, professionals to reach out to, how to help yourself in this situation, and more.
- If Someone Tells You They’re Contemplating Suicide: Another AFSP resource guide on how to talk to your loved one and connect them with the help they need.
- Facts About Physician Suicide: This links to a fact sheet put together by ACGME on physician suicide statistics. Most of the information was summarized from this 2019 Missouri Medicine study; this 2022 Psychology, Health, and Medicine study; and this 1977 JAMA article.
- Individual Support After a Suicide Loss: This page offers resources for family and friends that have lost a loved one to suicide.
- Organizational Support for After a Suicide Loss: This page links to different scenarios for a medical school program, residency program, or other organizational response to a healthcare professional suicide including grief resources, how to communicate the loss to others, and more.
There are endless resources available to resident and fellow physicians across many organizations like the American Medical Association, the Accreditation Council for Graduate Medical Education, the American Foundation for Suicide Prevention, and Mayo Clinic. The latter three released a video with their physician suicide prevention initiative.
If you believe we have missed any vital resources, or can offer further support in any way, please email firstname.lastname@example.org with suggestions.