Jammu, October 09: Pertaining to the rising number of suicidal cases among young doctors, the Indian Medical Association had organized a two-day mega event with free workshops for the medical students and fraternity. On the occasion of World Mental Health Day 2019, whose theme is ‘Say no to Suicide’ highlighted the need for implementing a holistic approach for preventive and promotive care which would go a long way in improving the emotional well-being among the doctors and medical students and thereby bring down the suicide rates.
“Medical Students and Doctors have a significantly higher suicide rate than the general population and is estimated at 28 to 40 suicides per 1,00,000 Medicos. In our country, Neuro-Psychiatric disorders contribute to 11.6% of the global mental health disease burden. Suicide is the 2nd leading cause of death among teenagers and young adults in the age bracket of 15 to 20 years, the age at which bright young students enter Medical Colleges. Suicide is a preventable cause of death, is yet on the rise due attributing to depression which is usually undetected, undertreated or untreated and is a cry for help.” Said Dr. Ravi Wankhedkar, Treasurer World Medical Association & immediate Past National President, Indian Medical Association and Mentor, D4D.
Smaller Work-Shops have been conducted by members of the IMA Committee for Emotional Wellbeing at various Medical Colleges and IMA Halls in Kerala, Karnataka, Tamil-Nadu, Maharashtra, Gujarat, Madhya-Pradesh and Delhi for the benefit of Under Graduate and Post Graduate Students. All were well received and there is a need for more such interventions across all Colleges and Hospitals in India. Monthly e-News Bulletins are released by IMA D-4-D for creating more awareness about Burn-Out prevention and Stress.
“Professional support systems, help-lines and counselling centres will be promoted by the IMA to help Medical Students and Doctors who need this assistance. This will provide anonymity and professional counselling to those in need of support and help.” Said Dr. Nilima Kadambi, Chairperson, IMA National Standing Committee for Emotional Well-being of Med Students and Doctors in India.
In the near future, IMA D-4-D will facilitate each State to set up and run a Free IMA D-4D Help Line for the benefit of UG & PG Students and IMA Members. Many colleges are now providing the services of a trained Clinical Psychologist on Campus as a Free Student Counsellor. Dr Abhinav Monga, Convenor IMA committee for Emotional well-being for doctors and medical students said that A multi-pronged approach to create support systems and bring about positive changes is needed at individual, family, institutional, regulatory and society. Indian Medical Association as the Apex Body of Doctors in India through this D4D initiative will facilitate these changes.
According to the data of WHO, that recognizes suicide as a health priority, suggests that over 8 lakh persons with disturbed mental health commit suicide every year and these figures are rising at an alarming rate every year. In fact, it is estimated that every 40 seconds someone in the world is attempting suicide.
Dr Abul Hasan Secretary IMA Junior Doctor Network said that there is an urgent need to address this issue of a rising rate of Physician Burn-Out (WHO has added this as a Clinical Disorder) Stress-induced Mental Health Challenges and Suicides. In India, we also need Public, Media, Political and Legal support in this regard. Formulation and implementation of proper guidelines for PG Resident Doctors training, safety and working conditions is urgently called for.