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Mental Health Awareness in Osteopathic Medical Education


Osteopathic Medical Student Task Force
Checks Its Peers’ Mental Health Vital Signs

Groundbreaking survey explores mental health wellness among future DOs. Read release


W

e applaud the Mental Health Awareness Task Force (MHATF) survey, a project of the Council of Osteopathic Student Government Presidents (COSGP), the largest survey of its kind ever conducted.

For the first time, a study is focusing specifically on the mental wellness of DO students. The results were presented at AACOM's 2016 Annual Conference, where thought leaders from across the osteopathic medical education (OME) spectrum were brought together to discuss topics, including mental health among medical students.

With more than 10,000 responses collected from students at colleges of osteopathic medicine (COMs) nationwide, the survey is a groundbreaking step toward addressing mental wellness among future DOs.

AACOM remains committed to listening to the students, who led this milestone effort, and we encourage active student involvement to improve the public health of future physicians. We've seen first-hand how mental health issues powerfully impact medical students and the patients they serve.

We look forward to collaborating with others in the OME community to reduce the stigma associated with mental health challenges, support future research every step of the way, provide data that COMs can use to help students, and develop resources at the campus level that empower the DO student body.

Stephen C. Shannon, DO, MPH
President and CEO from 2006-2019, AACOM

AACOM in Action

Read AACOM's position statement on mental health in medical education.


Make a Difference for Mental Health: Join Us to Protect Health Professionals and Patients

October 14, 2021

 

In the United States, 400 physicians die each year by suicide, twice the rate of the general population. Medical students have rates of depression 15 to 30 percent higher than the general population, with depression being a major risk factor in physician suicide.

The American Association of Colleges of Osteopathic Medicine (AACOM) recognizes the real threat mental health issues pose to our society, which has only been exacerbated by the COVID-19 pandemic.

Health professionals, who were at a high risk for mental health challenges before the pandemic, now face an even greater risk of depression, burnout, addiction and suicide. To help address these serious concerns, AACOM is asking our community to join us in advocating for the Dr. Lorna Breen Health Care Provider Protection Act.

The bill is named after Dr. Lorna Breen, the New York City emergency room physician who died by suicide after treating COVID-19 patients. Passed unanimously by the Senate on August 6, 2021, it aims to reduce and prevent suicide, burnout and mental and behavioral health conditions among health professionals.

The World Health Organization’s World Mental Health Day on October 10 helped raise awareness of mental health issues and mobilized efforts in support of mental health worldwide. Let’s build on the momentum generated on that day to continue raising our voice in support of mental health. With the Senate’s unanimous commitment to this important cause, your advocacy in urging the House of Representatives to take similarly strong action on this issue will progress our nation toward real, lasting, positive change for health professionals and patients across the country.

Take action now!

For more information about the mental health challenges faced by the osteopathic medical education community, view AACOM’s conversation with a resident physician and medical student about their perspectives regarding mental health and wellbeing, and read a guest post by a recent AACOM Osteopathic Health Policy Intern on the importance of advocating for health professionals’ mental health.

If you or someone you know is considering suicide, contact the National Suicide Prevention Lifeline at 1-800-273-8255 (Español: 1-888-628-9454; deaf and hard of hearing: 1-800-799-4889) or the Crisis Text Line by texting HOME to 741741.

oms day of wellness-infographic

Make a Difference for Mental Health: Join Us to Protect Health Professionals and Patients

October 14, 2021

 

In the United States, 400 physicians die each year by suicide, twice the rate of the general population. Medical students have rates of depression 15 to 30 percent higher than the general population, with depression being a major risk factor in physician suicide.

The American Association of Colleges of Osteopathic Medicine (AACOM) recognizes the real threat mental health issues pose to our society, which has only been exacerbated by the COVID-19 pandemic.

Health professionals, who were at a high risk for mental health challenges before the pandemic, now face an even greater risk of depression, burnout, addiction and suicide. To help address these serious concerns, AACOM is asking our community to join us in advocating for the Dr. Lorna Breen Health Care Provider Protection Act.

The bill is named after Dr. Lorna Breen, the New York City emergency room physician who died by suicide after treating COVID-19 patients. Passed unanimously by the Senate on August 6, 2021, it aims to reduce and prevent suicide, burnout and mental and behavioral health conditions among health professionals.

The World Health Organization’s World Mental Health Day on October 10 helped raise awareness of mental health issues and mobilized efforts in support of mental health worldwide. Let’s build on the momentum generated on that day to continue raising our voice in support of mental health. With the Senate’s unanimous commitment to this important cause, your advocacy in urging the House of Representatives to take similarly strong action on this issue will progress our nation toward real, lasting, positive change for health professionals and patients across the country.

Take action now!

For more information about the mental health challenges faced by the osteopathic medical education community, view AACOM’s conversation with a resident physician and medical student about their perspectives regarding mental health and wellbeing, and read a guest post by a recent AACOM Osteopathic Health Policy Intern on the importance of advocating for health professionals’ mental health.

If you or someone you know is considering suicide, contact the National Suicide Prevention Lifeline at 1-800-273-8255 (Español: 1-888-628-9454; deaf and hard of hearing: 1-800-799-4889) or the Crisis Text Line by texting HOME to 741741.


Resilience

Nearly half of all physicians are burned out and almost 50% of medical students surveyed report experiencing burnout.


Academic Med graph mental health

 


Each year in the United States, an estimated 400 physicians take their own lives, a rate that is higher than most other professions.


Suicide Prevention Awareness


Nation's COMs Take Initiative


Questions?

COSGP Mental Health Awareness Task Force Coordinator:
Calli Schardein
Oklahoma State University Center for Health Sciences College of Osteopathic Medicine
COSGPMentalHealth@gmail.com