There's a New Effort to Keep Doctors from Taking Their Own Lives - NBC Right Now/KNDO/KNDU Tri-Cities, Yakima, WA |

There's a New Effort to Keep Doctors from Taking Their Own Lives

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CHICAGO (AP) - There's a new effort to keep doctors from taking their own lives.

The American Foundation for Suicide Prevention has launched an educational campaign to encourage troubled doctors to get help.

An estimated 300 to 400 American physicians kill themselves every year.

The suicide rate is thought to be higher than for the general population, although exact figures are hard to come by.

As for why: some doctors think the stigma of mental illness is magnified in the prestigious medical profession.

Many choose to suffer in silence out of fear that admitting psychiatric problems could harm their careers.

Doctors also have easy access to prescription drugs. They know how the body works and the amount of a drug needed for an overdose.

The American Medical Association calls physician suicide "an endemic catastrophe."

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