Chicago, Ill.—September 14, 2022—CommonSpirit Health today signed on as a supporting organization of National Physician Suicide Awareness Day (NPSA Day), recognized on Sept. 17. This endorsement represents CommonSpirit’s commitment to the well-being of its physicians and advanced practice providers (APPs) as well as the organization’s support and advocacy for an environment where physicians and APPs no longer think burnout, depression, or suicidal thoughts are something they must overcome by themselves.
CommonSpirit includes 25,000 physicians and APPs, caring for patients across 21 states.
As a NPSA Day Supporting Organization, CommonSpirit is actively working to address barriers to accessing mental health services and encouraging physicians and APPs to reach out for support when they are struggling, whether it’s with stress, feelings of burnout or other behavioral health needs. In addition, there are several initiatives underway at CommonSpirit that directly address staff and physicians/APP well-being and provide professional fulfillment opportunities, including representative councils identifying opportunities to improve across all categories.
“As we move farther from the onset of the pandemic, physicians and APPs are still facing the same issues, including frustration, anxiety or hopelessness,” said Bob Wiebe, MD, EVP and CMO, CommonSpirit Health. “We recognize those valid feelings and understand their profound impact on our providers which is why we’re focused on creating programs that support mental health and we’re making these resources easy to access.”
Physicians have one of the highest suicide rates of any profession. More than half of physicians know a physician who has either considered, attempted, or died by suicide in their career. It’s estimated that one million Americans lose their physician to suicide each year.
“We are committed to the well-being of our physicians and APPs and we view this day as both a remembrance and a call-to-action,” said Thomas McGInn, MD, EVP, Physician Enterprise, CommonSpirit Health. “Across our ministry we are taking action to create meaningful change, and this includes understanding the vital signs of colleagues at-risk, starting conversations, empowering our providers to speak up, and removing barriers. We want our physicians and APPs to both see and feel a strong support system around them.”
Feelings of anger, tearfulness, anxiety, hopelessness or lack of purpose can lead to burnout and, when left untreated, can increase the risk of depression, anxiety, post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD) and lead to suicidal thoughts for physicians, directly impacting physician suicide rates. Research has consistently shown that informed actions and steps can be taken to raise awareness and prevent suicide.
As a supporting organization for #NPSA Day, CommonSpirit is reaffirming its commitment to building bridges that support the well-being of physicians and APPs and helping them seek mental health care when needed.
About CommonSpirit Health
CommonSpirit Health is a nonprofit, Catholic health system dedicated to advancing health for all people. It was created in February 2019 by Catholic Health Initiatives and Dignity Health. CommonSpirit is committed to creating healthier communities, delivering exceptional patient care, and ensuring every person has access to quality health care. With a team of approximately 150,000 employees and 20,000 physicians and advanced practice providers, CommonSpirit Health operates 140 hospitals and more than 1,000 care sites across 21 states. Learn more at www.commonspirit.org.