IJFANS International Journal of Food and Nutritional Sciences

ISSN PRINT 2319 1775 Online 2320-7876

Suicide in Health-Care Providers from India

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Nandita Yadav, Nischita Raj, Sachinpal Bhatti, Saksham Kumar, Brijesh Saran,Amoolya K Seth


Mental health issues for health workers include stress, burnout, depression, anxiety, substance use disorders, and suicidal behaviours. Previous studies found relatively good health in physicians, while multiple studies now report relatively high levels of psychological distress among them.1-5 This is particularly true for symptoms of stress, burnout, and depression--and particularly for medical students and younger doctors at the beginning of their careers. Although depressive symptoms appear prevalent early in the medical career, this could partly be related to exhaustion from work stresses caused by the often-on-call nature of work. We do not have representative studies on the incidence of effective depression in doctors, as compared with those of other occupational groups. Poor mental health leaves many health professionals feeling burnt out and underperforming, and may even result in feelings of depersonalization at work, affecting their ability to deliver high-quality, safe care. A recent study found that over 70% of the nation’s health care workers had symptoms of anxiety and depression, 38% had symptoms of post-traumatic stress disorder, and 15% had recent thoughts of suicide or self-harm. A deeper understanding of the experiences of health care workers who are experiencing thoughts of suicide or selfharm will be useful for identifying healthcare workers who are at risk, as well as for guiding interventions that support their health and well-being. The most frequent reason for student and resident suicide attempts is reported to be academic pressure followed by psychiatric problems. Nurses are four times as likely as those working in professions other than medicine to kill themselves. The higher risk for suicide for nurses may stem from the fact that they are primary caretakers of patients.

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