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Suicide awareness

We have been hearing with great sadness about cases of suicide amongst anaesthetists and intensivists. Our specialty has traditionally been considered at greater risk, possibly due to work-related stress, easy access to (and knowledge of) potent drugs, or both. Establishing accurate figures on numbers of deaths by suicide is virtually impossible, through deficiencies in national data collection systems and variable coroners’ reports. Thank you to everyone who has taken the time to complete our online survey on the impact of suicide among anaesthetists and intensive care doctors working in the UK and Ireland. We will publish the results of this survey as a standalone resource, as well as refer to it in the Association of Anaesthetists guidance in the event of a suicide, to be published in early 2019. Although individual free text responses may be included to illustrate points, any potentially identifying information will be removed.

Working party on suicide among anaesthetists
The Association of Anaesthetists' working party was established in response to the number of reports of suicide amongst anaesthetists and intensivists. It aims to produce new guidance for hospital departments and staff, to increase suicide awareness and offer support and resources in the event of the suicide of a colleague.

Read the article "Why we need to talk about suicide" in August's Anaesthesia News.

Other useful supporting information

All is well podcast

Losing Richard

Lauren's story

Your mental health (Ireland)

Also available through Learnat 'Suicide in anaesthetists' and 'Being Human' (login required)

View support resources here