AMARILLO, Texas (KAMR/KCIT) – The Texas Tech University Health Sciences Center announced that its School of Medicine students will gather on Thursday for an event aimed at increasing awareness about National Physician Suicide Awareness Day, including both a wreath-laying ceremony and a presentation on mental wellness for healthcare professionals.

TTUHSC said that the event will take place from 12 p.m. to 1 p.m. on Thursday at the Jerry H. Hodge School of Pharmacy Harrington Auditorium. Sponsored by the TTUHSC Student and Resident Wellness Committee, the event is aimed at reminding others that physicians have one of the highest suicide rates of any profession.

More than half of physicians know a physician who has either considered, attempted or died by suicide, according to TTUHSC. While NPSA Day will happen officially on Sunday, the event on Thursday is intended to mark the day call for others to “learn the signs, start conversations, understand barriers and share resources that can help those in distress seek mental health care.”

The Thursday “Institutional Grand Rounds” event will provide lunch to the first 100 people at the Amarillo campus, said TTUHSC, and include a presentation from Licensed Professional Counselor-Associate Grace Hodges, MA, focused on supporting mental wellness in healthcare professionals.

The live activity and presentation will aim to help participants with a number of skills including:

  • Identifying “Vital Signs” related to personal mental and emotional health;
  • Identifying “Vital Signs” related to mental and emotional health of colleagues; and
  • Discussing the “Cycle of Toxic Shame” and knowing how to resist falling into the cycle.

Further, TTUHSC noted that the activity has been designated for one credit for physicians and nurses in education in medical ethics and/or professional responsibility, though they should only claim the credit matching with the extent of their participation:

  • For physicians, the activity has been designated for a maximum of one AMA PRA Category 1 Credits; and
  • For nurses, the activity has been designated for one Nursing contact hour.

The presentation will also be available through Zoom, said TTUHSC, and has been tech-linked to Abilene PH 2200, Lubbock ACB 240, Dallas SPSW 535, Midland PA B60, and Odessa TTHC 3206.

A wreath-laying ceremony is also scheduled for 1:05 p.m. to 1:30 p.m. after the auditorium-based event, noted TTUHSC, at the school’s horse statue.

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