Key studies have determined that some health care professions are at increased risk of suicide compared to the public, including pharmacists. According to a study published in JAPhA, suicide rates among pharmacists in the U.S. are 20 per 100,000, which is greater than the general population of 12 per 100,000. These increased rates underscore a larger issue related to mental health challenges in health care environments.
Need Help? Here’s Who to Contact
Call 988 – The National Suicide and Crisis Lifeline or Text HOME to 741741 – Crisis Textline
The Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration (SAMHSA) developed the 988 Partner Toolkit with resources for partners to use and share information about the 988 Lifeline with this alignment in mind.
Pharmacy Workforce Suicide Awareness Day
Recognized annually on September 20th, APhA and many other pharmacy organizations and associations have convened to establish a Pharmacy Workforce Suicide Awareness Day. This aligns with many pharmacy organizations’ related policies to expand public awareness of this serious issue and to advocate for pharmacists, student pharmacists, pharmacy residents, and pharmacy technicians by providing resources to mitigate mental health and well-being issues that may lead to thoughts of suicide.
Resources and Tools
American Foundation for Suicide Prevention (AFSP)
AFSP is a voluntary health organization with educational resources about mental health and suicide prevention, advocacy efforts for public policies in mental health and suicide prevention and supporting survivors of suicide loss and those affected by suicide.
More information can be found here.
- Crisis Intervention: A Pharmacist’s Story
- APhA’s Hot Topics in Pharmacy Education is a series of 1-hour, live webinars, presented every month; this webinar will focus on crisis intervention to keep pharmacists up to date as frontline health care workers.
CDC Prevention Partner Toolkit
CDC’s Injury Center created a Suicide Prevention Month Social Media Toolkit, which includes sample social media graphics and messages centered around the key role personal connections play in preventing suicide.
View the CDC resources here.
Mental Health First Aid
Mental Health First Aid is a skills-based training course that teaches participants to identify, understand, and respond to mental health and substance use challenges.
Find out more about Mental Health First Aid here.
National Alliance on Mental Illness (NAMI)
NAMI has crisis resources for individuals experiencing mental health crises, as well as social media images and graphics for Suicide Prevention Awareness Month.
Learn more here.
National Institute of Mental Health (NIMH)
NIMH has a variety of free brochures and shareable resources for suicide prevention, including frequently asked questions, warning signs, and action steps for helping someone in pain.
Learn about NIMH here.
Psychology Today – Find a Therapist
Psychology Today has a free tool to search for a verified therapist near you. It allows you to filter by insurance, gender, types of therapy, and more.
Find a therapist here.
QPR stands for Question, Persuade, and Refer — the 3 simple steps anyone can learn to help save a life from suicide. People trained in QPR learn how to recognize the warning signs of a suicide crisis and how to ask questions and persuade and refer someone to seek help.
Learn more about QPR here.