The American Medical Association recently shared a toolkit endorsed by the American Foundation for Suicide Prevention containing suggestions and procedures aimed at helping medical practitioners deal with the loss of a colleague by suicide.
Listing logical protocols, “After a Suicide: A Toolkit for Physician Residency/Fellowship
Programs” outlines do’s and don’ts, denoting the right steps to take and in
what order following the untimely death of a fellow health care professional — particularly
Top priorities include creating checklists, forming a
response team to represent leadership within the organization, fact checking. and
setting boundaries for sharing the event with others to lower the risk of “suicide
contagion” for vulnerable parties. Response teams should also be responsible
for policies concerning news media, if applicable.
The program covers ways of helping residents and fellows
process the event, with the Foundation suggesting extra wellness activities
and/or mental health services; and relaying similar help to faculty and staff
in academic settings.
Additionally, a memorial for the deceased is recommended
just as it would be for someone who died from illness or by accident in order
to reduce stigma. Finally, the toolkit advocates carrying community support
forward for “navigating” the future.
The toolkit includes a video and webinar. The American
Foundation for Suicide Prevention is a nonprofit based in New York City.
Foundation shares tips for coping with suicide in health care field
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