Physician Suicide Awareness and Prevention Resources

 Physician Suicide Awareness and Prevention Resources

September 17th is National Physician Suicide Awareness Day (#NPSADay), a reminder and a call to action to make time to talk – and to act – so physicians’ struggles don’t become mental health emergencies. Tragically, physicians have one of the highest suicide rates of any profession, and the past two and a half years of the COVID-19 pandemic have taken a further toll on physicians’ mental health. The ACCMA was saddened to learn recently of another death by suicide in our local medical community.

Although help is available, many physicians are not aware. According to a recent survey by The Physicians Foundation, eight in 10 physicians (80%) report stigma surrounding mental health and seeking mental health care. Only one-third (31%) believe suicide prevention resources for physicians exist and are easy to access.

Physicians have identified who and what supports their mental health and wellbeing most. Confidential therapy, counseling or support phone lines (65%) and peer-to-peer support (57%) were rated as the most helpful resources. These resources and others are available through the ACCMA:

  • Access to Mental Health Services: Our wellbeing committee has compiled a list of competent psychologists, psychiatrists, and life coaches who have demonstrated experience working with clinicians. If cost is a barrier, ACCMA can cover the costs of up to four therapy sessions with the provider of your choice. Please contact the providers directly to schedule an appointment and they will bill the ACCMA confidentially for their services.
  • Confidential Peer Support: Members of our wellbeing committee are available to talk one-on-one with physicians who are in distress. To be connected to a member of the committee, please reach out to Joe Greaves, ACCMA Executive Director, at or 415-987-9639 (cell phone). Mr. Greaves will connect you with a member of the committee. All inquiries will be treated confidentially.
  • Online Wellness Education: The ACCMA has a number of on-demand educational programs addressing physician wellness, including a session on “Dealing with Uncertainty and Loss” as well as many others to help physicians cope and develop greater resiliency during difficult and stressful times. These programs are available free of charge.

There may also be mental health resources available through your medical group and/or hospital medical staff. And if you or someone you know is struggling or in crisis, you can always call or text 988 or chat online at

Everyone can help by raising awareness. Please view this toolkit for sample talking points, social posts, graphics and more to utilize in your NPSA Day communications.

Additionally, The Physicians Foundation just released Part Two of the 
2022 Survey of America’s Physicians, which examines the current state of physicians’ wellbeing and assesses the solutions needed to improve it. Yesterday also marked the release of a first-of-its-kind map that recognizes the states who are ALL IN for prioritizing clinician wellbeing—those who have audited and changed the intrusive language from their licensure applications. You can read more about the survey results and the ALL IN map here