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Mental Health News: Why Medical Students Need To Talk About Depression, Stress And Suicide

Update Date: Feb 06, 2017 08:30 AM EST

A new campaign focused on issues such as depression, stress and suicide is now being launched to take away the stigma of people discussing about it. It is primarily centered on medical students who are surrounded with heavy workloads and tight deadlines.

The Journal of the American Medical Association reported that one in four medical students across the globe have experienced depression during the course of their studies. Also, one in nine has suicidal thoughts. The result of the study prompted Kevin McMahon, president of Association of Medical Students Ireland (AMSI) to do something to promote positive mental health. He also wants to remove the stigma of medical students talking about it.

AMSI represents 7,000 medical students across the seven medical schools in Ireland. McMahon said that the result of the study is high and unacceptable. Ironically, it means that the medical students are among the highest risk groups for mental illness.

Our Med Minds is an initiative by AMSI that runs in universities during the week with workshops and other events. Nick Stefanovic, public relations officer of AMSI, said that the aim of the campaign is to make medical students aware that support is there and that it is okay to talk about mental health.

In Our Med Minds website, one of the events happening is a nationwide survey of 7,000 medical students which is aimed at improving the quality of mental wellbeing of medical students. Students are also encouraged to share their mental health story.

The stigma of medical students talking about their mental health is that people might think that if a medical practitioner cannot take care of himself, how he can ever take care of someone else. Stefanovic added that they constantly need to put up a professional front like sporting a nice hospital smile even though they are not feeling that way inside.

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