Pharmacy Workforce Suicide Awareness Day
ASHP, in collaboration with other pharmacy organizations, has established a Pharmacy Workforce Suicide Awareness Day on September 20 to expand public awareness. This page offers resources to pharmacists, student pharmacists, and pharmacy technicians whose lives have been impacted by suicide or who want to learn more about this grave issue.
Are you in a crisis?
Awareness of risk factors and the pervasiveness of suicide is the first step in prevention. "Creating hope through action" is the triennial theme for the World Suicide Prevention Day from 2021 - 2023.
- All pharmacists involved in direct patient care and/or who precept students and/or residents may benefit from Mental Health First Aid training.
- Healthcare workers face elevated rates of burnout, depression, anxiety, post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD), and suicide. The Dr. Lorna Breen Heroes' Foundation works to support and safeguard the well-being of the healthcare workforce through research, advocacy, and awareness and is a founder of ALL In WellBeing for Healthcare which has created a hub of mental health and resiliency resources for healthcare professionals.
- Physicians rank among the highest suicide rates of any profession. September 17 has been designated National Physician Suicide Awareness Day. Information on the campaign to prevent physician suicide can be found on their site.
- The American Foundation for Suicide Prevention (AFSP) funds scientific research on suicide, educates the public about mental health and suicide prevention, advocates for public policies in mental health and suicide prevention, and supports survivors of suicide loss and those affected by suicide loss.
- The American Association of Suicidology (AAS) encourages, develops, and disseminates scholarly work in suicidology. AAS promotes research, public awareness programs, public education, and training for professionals and volunteers.
- International Association for Suicide Prevention: World Suicide Prevention Day (WSPD) was established in 2003 in conjunction with the World Health Organisation (WHO) and is a significant advocacy and communication-based event aimed at reaching national organizations, governments, and the general public with a singular message that suicide can be prevented.
- ASHP Mental Health Support Certificate: Enroll now to become better equipped to prevent and respond to suicide risk or ideation.
Suicide is preventable, and everyone should know the warning signs. The goal of suicide prevention is to reduce factors that increase risk and increase factors that promote resilience. Organizations highlighted below offer tips and strategies for suicide prevention.
- 988 Suicide & Crisis Lifeline: Call or text 988 for free and confidential support for people in distress, prevention and crisis resources for you or your loved ones, and best practices for professionals in the United States
- Crisis Text Line: Text "Talk" to 741-741 for free and confidential support 24/7
- AFSP Chapters: With local programs and events in all 50 states, AFSP's local chapters are at the forefront of suicide prevention and create a culture that's smart about mental health
- CDC's Suicide Prevention Resource for Action: a comprehensive tool for anyone interested in this topic
- U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs
- Lethal Means Counseling [PDF]: Providers can download and use this helpful tool to determine if a person at risk of injury or death has access to lethal means
- Safety Plan Template [PDF]: Individuals can download and use this resource to develop a safety plan either before or during a suicidal crisis
- The Veterans Health Administration offers free training for suicide prevention to community members. Access the 1 hour program with CE or the 20 minute program with no CE.
In addition to being at increased risk for suicide themselves, pharmacists can play a crucial role in preventing suicide. Explore additional ASHP resources:
- Pharmacists Can Help Implement Suicide Prevention Goal
- Medications and Suicidality Resource Center: Vital information concerning medications that are associated with an increased risk of suicidality
Including Pharmacists in Suicide Prevention Strategies [VIDEO]
A recorded session from 2020 Midyear Clinical Meeting and Exhibition.
Lisa Kearney, PhD, ABPP
Tera Moore, PharmD, BCACP
Response to suicide, also known as postvention, is intended to promote healing and mitigate the negative effects of exposure to suicide.
- 988 Suicide & Crisis Lifeline loss survivor resources
- You are not alone. AFSP offers programs and resources to support you on your healing journey. Visit afsp.org/ive-lost-someone and afsp.org/find-a-support-group.
- After a Suicide: A Toolkit for Pharmacy Residency Programs [PDF]
- After a Suicide: A Toolkit for Schools and Colleges of Pharmacy [PDF]
When Tragedy Strikes: Managing a Grieving Team [VIDEO]
A clip recorded session from 2020 Midyear Clinical Meeting and Exhibition.
Thomas S. Achey, PharmD, MS, BCPS