Every year 47,000 people kill themselves in the US; GHS 2023 to focus on mental health, suicide prevention
With over 47,000 people, including over 200 physicians, taking their own lives every year in the US with a devastating effect on family, friends and society, Indian American physicians have raised $15,000 for suicide prevention.
The amount was raised during the annual governing body meeting and Diwali- Dussehra celebrations organized jointly by the American Association of Physicians of Indian Origin (AAPI) and the Georgia Association of Physicians of Indian Origin (GAPI) Chapter from Oct 7 to 9 in Atlanta.
Read: Indian American physicians lead suicide prevention campaign (September 30, 2021)
A check was presented to Cheryl Cloa, board chair for the Georgia chapter of the American Foundation for Suicide Prevention whose mission is to help save lives and bring hope, to those affected by suicide, during the GAPI-AAPI gala on Oct 8, according to a press release.
India’s Minister of State for External Affairs, V. Muraleedharan and the Consul General of India in Atlanta, Dr. Swati Kulkarni were the chief guests at the gala, which began with the lighting of the traditional lamp.
The gala began with Dr. Uma Johnnalagadda, President of GAPI, Dr. Sreeni Ganagasani, and Dr. Raghu Lolabhattu, welcoming community members, family, friends, colleagues, and sponsors.
September is recognized as “National Suicide Prevention Month.” AAPI Women’s Forum initiated a fundraiser to support Suicide Awareness programs.
During and post Covid, physician burnout and the suicide rate among physicians had gone up. Every year about 200 plus physicians die by suicide. Suicide has a devastating effect on the lives of family members, friends, co-workers, and society.
In 2021, in the US alone, more than 47,000 people lost their lives to suicide, Dr. Udaya Shivangi, chair of AAPI’s Women’s Forum pointed out. “By learning the signs, starting conversations, understanding barriers, and sharing resources we can all contribute to preventing this loss of precious life.”
Urging AAPI members and the medical fraternity to use all the resources available to prevent suicide, Dr. Anjana Samadder, president-elect of AAPI said, “We must become aware of, utilize and help others become aware of and use all the resources available that will help prevent suicide.”
Dr. Ravi Kolli, AAPI president urged AAPI members to attend the next edition of the Global Healthcare Summit planned to be held in Vishakapatnam, Andhra Pradesh from Jan 6 to 8, 2023.
The GHS 2023 will focus on mental health, infant and maternal mortality as well as medical jeopardy, and research poster presentations by medical students.
It will also have panel discussions by international medical education experts and national medical council board officials, mentoring of young professionals, ceo forum on equity, ethics and physician burnout issues, women’s forum on gender bias and leadership, and TB elimination projects in India.
Topics of discussions include advocacy on stigma and suicide prevention and chronic disease reversal and prevention, rural health initiatives and global health issues including climate change and health