A Mother’s story of losing a doctor daughter with Jan Rodwell

Jan spoke to create a greater understanding around suicide and that doctors are people first. She highlighted the importance of balance in life, the need to promote systems to support doctors to seek help early without fear of reprisal.

Doctors are more likely to end their own life than the general population.

There are unique and complex issues that surround losing a loved one to suicide; there is a culture of blame and shame. When Jan’s daughter became unwell, her friends and family were unaware of how unwell she was and were blindsided by her death.

Privacy can get in the way of seeking the help a doctor needs, as can concerns about AHPRA and the impact of being reported on a doctor’s career. It is vital to show kindness, compassion and support of colleagues. When colleagues make mistakes, be supportive and give assistance. Understand the need for self -care. Doctors are people too. Doctors have Mothers.

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