Medical Students Stress the Importance of Mental Health in Light of Recent Suicides
The tragedy of Australian Medical students’ suicide is being highlighted this week by the launch of National Blue Week coinciding with National Mental Health Week.
“We are extremely upset at this trend. Any suicide is a tragedy, and these medical student suicides are perhaps a sign of a much broader problem.” said Australian Medical Students’ Association (AMSA) President, Rob Thomas.
Mr Thomas said that AMSA Blue Week was an opportune time for students to reflect on their own mental health because they fall into a category that is high-risk, not only during medical school but also in the profession.
“The most recent, a young student at the University of Tasmania, paints a picture of how mental illness can affect anyone. Shannon Moses was by all accounts, a brilliant and wonderful student and friend, and he will be sorely missed by his community,” Mr Thomas said.
He warned that as students head towards their final exams it’s important to check in with each other that the stress they feel doesn’t become something worse.
“Thankfully, there are always resources on hand for our students. From Lifeline to BeyondBlue, as well as individual university supports, students need not be afraid to seek help just like anyone else.
“A big part of AMSA Blue week is sharing stories of our own mental health issues,“ Mr Thomas said.
AMSA’s Humans of Medicine project runs throughout October to demonstrate there should be no shame in seeking help and fights the stigma often associated with mental health.
AMSA has also launched their publication Keeping Your Grass Greener, which has helpful stories and resources for students to check in with themselves and their peers.
“It’s not ok that students are dying because they may be reluctant to seek help. Our thoughts are with those families of students lost to mental illness, and we sincerely hope that steps are taken to reduce these losses in future,” Mr Thomas said.
If you or someone you know needs help, mental health professionals are available at:
· Beyondblue phone 24/7 on 1300 224 636 or via www.beyondblue.org.au/get-support for online chat (3PM-12AM AEST) or email responses (within 24 hours)
· Headspace on 1800 650 890
· Lifeline on 13 11 14
Phone: 0416 816 830
Published: 12 Oct 2017