FMA Joins National Effort to Prevent Physician Suicide
By Erika Peterman, FMA Managing Editor | Updated Sept. 15, 2022


On Saturday, Sept. 17, the Florida Medical Association (FMA) will join medical societies across the country in honoring National Physician Suicide Awareness Day (#NPSADay), an urgent call for our healthcare system to prioritize physicians’ well-being and address the underlying issues that often discourage physicians from seeking mental healthcare and support when they need it.

While physician suicide is not a new concern, the ongoing pandemic has drawn greater attention to the importance of supporting medical professionals before tragedy occurs. More than half (55%) of physicians who responded to a 2021 Physicians Foundation survey reported that they knew of a physician who had either considered, attempted, or died by suicide during their career.

“Physician well-being is at the heart of the Florida Medical Association’s (FMA) mission to help physicians practice medicine,” said FMA President Joshua D. Lenchus, DO, RPh, FACP, SFHM. “Yet, far too many physicians endure mental health distress in isolation because of lingering stigmas and structural obstacles that prevent them from seeking help — often with devastating consequences. Physicians have one of the highest rates of death by suicide among any profession, and one death is too many. As a National Physician Suicide Awareness Day supporting organization, the FMA is committed to normalizing discussions about mental health in medicine and providing physicians with actionable resources to help them cope during moments of crisis.”

It’s estimated that one million Americans lose their physician to suicide each year. Further, physicians also do not know where to go for help: More than one in three physicians do not believe that suicide prevention resources for physicians exist and are easy to access. However, physicians have identified who and what supports their mental health — confidential therapy, counseling or support phone lines.

Now is the time to get these mental health resources into the hands of physicians. Access and share these suicide prevention resources for immediate and ongoing physician support. Information for healthcare leaders and medical educators is also available. To learn six steps you can take to help prevent physician suicide, visit