Suicide prevention needs to be on our agenda

Dr John Craven has bravely described his brother’s lifelong struggle with major depression and his own despair at not being able to rescue his brother from feeling he had no other option than to end his life. 

Dr Craven volunteered to speak to MO about his brother’s very recent death in the hope that something positive may come out of this tragedy. While still mourning his loss, he hopes it may encourage other doctors to seek help before it’s too late.

Among our profession there is a tendency to think we should be perfect, leading to a continued reticence to admit a diagnosis of mental illness. I would like to think that the death of Dr Craven’s brother should speak to all of us about the need to be open and disclose mental illness to our peers as an essential part of supporting each other to continue to practise medicine safely. 

Complicating this message for us, of course, is the introduction of mandatory reporting