Nurses working in specialty areas with seriously ill, terminal, or traumatized patients seem to show more indications of poor mental health (e.g., increased stress, anxiety, depression, depersonalization, and emotional distress). These specialties also require nurses to communicate and collaborate with family members who are also hurt and suffering. For all nurses such repetitive emotional exposures often culminate into feelings of compassion fatigue, burnout, and for some have led suicidal ideation, some of which have ended in suicide. #StopTheAwkward
National Suicide Prevention Lifeline: 1-800-273-8255 (Veterans press 1)
LGBTQ+ National Suicide Prevention Lifeline: 1-888-843-4564
The problem young adults are facing
2nd Leading cause of death among 16-24 year-olds is suicide.
1 in 4 young adults experience a mental health challenge each year.
2.6m+ college students will have serious thoughts of suicide.
Young adulthood is a critical time in a person's life when they may experience great stress from multiple life changes like leaving high school, moving from home and beginning college. We also know through research, that the young adult years are a time when mental health conditions often present for the first time. While effective treatment options are available, for some people, getting help takes time and finding the right treatment option may also take persistence to find what works best.
The friends of those struggling with mental health issues can be incredibly supportive by simply checking in and staying connected and listening. However, If things don't begin to get better or you notice changes in normal behavior, reach out to a trusted adult or access help at SeizeTheAwkward.org to get help that they need when they need it (seizetheawkward.org).
The opportunity to help
76% of young adults will turn to a peer in a time of crisis for support
The problem female nurses are facing
Female nurses are roughly twice as likely to die by suicide than the general female population and 70% more likely than female physicians, according to a University of Michigan study examining suicide among physicians and nurses.
“It’s much higher than I expected,” said study lead author Matthew Davis, associate professor at the U-M School of Nursing. “The takeaway for me is we’ve focused so much on physician welfare that, historically, we haven’t paid enough attention to this huge workforce that, based on our data, is at much higher risk.”
There are roughly 3 million nurses working in the United States, making it the country’s largest health care workforce—85% of whom are women.
Davis says the extraordinary demands that COVID-19 has placed on women–from homeschooling to finding child care–exacerbates the stress these nurses experience. The current study did not include data from the pandemic, which means these numbers could be even higher now, he says.
Nurses and physicians face many similar risk factors for suicide, but in nurses those risk factors are potentially exacerbated by long hours and less autonomy, said co-author Christopher Friese, the Elizabeth Tone Hosmer Professor of Nursing and professor of health management and policy at the U-M School of Public Health.
The problem LGBTQ+ people are facing
Studies have shown that LGBTQ individuals have higher reported rates of suicide attempts stemming from depression and experiences of discrimination and stigma. Each one of us can play a vital role in ensuring that all young people, regardless of their sexual orientation or gender identity, are provided with safe, accepting and supportive environments at home, at school, at work and in their communities.