Suicide – An Emergency Priority of Public Health Care

Suicide An Emergency

A significant number of emergency department visits annually arise as a result of intentional self-harm. Although no accurate description explains what leads to suicide or what comes after, it is a multifaceted phenomenon of public health urgency during a global health crisis. In the United States alone, suicide is the 10th leading cause of death and worldwide claims up to 800,000 lives each year. The international community must unite to come up with solutions to prevent the loss of life, as every single life lost is one too many.

With the COVID-19 pandemic, such an emergency naturally affects both individuals’ health and well-being and the communities in which they live. Unprecedented times unleash various emotional reactions from isolation, grief and trauma to other unhealthy behaviours, noncompliance with public health guidelines and the exacerbation of mental health conditions. While those who’ve been emotionally, sexually or physically abused in the past are more vulnerable to the psychosocial effects of a crisis, supportive interventions such as the Zero Suicide program and Cognitive Behavioural Therapy designed to promote wellness and enhance coping should be implemented [1]. 

In honour of World Suicide Prevention Week, and World Suicide Prevention Day held on the 10th of September every year, it is important to raise attention to the global importance of suicide prevention. Suicide impacts all people and particularly the world’s most marginalized and discriminated groups. It is a huge problem in developed countries and just as serious in low-and middle income countries where resources and access to healthcare professionals are scarce. In many regions of the world, the taboo and stigma surrounding suicide persist, causing people in need of help to be left alone. 

Suicide prevention with awareness campaigns ought to be prioritized on the global health and public policy agendas as a major public health issue. Routine screening for suicidal ideation by health care professionals providing care should identify and assess suicide risk among populations. According to the Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders (DSM-5), risk factors of suicide include mental illness, substance use diagnoses, trauma or conflict, loss, family history of suicide, and previous suicide attempts [2].

Effectively implementing suicide prevention strategies at the populational, sub-populational and individual level requires ensuring patients’ lethal means are restricted, reduced, and that all accesss to weapons of self-harm are removed from the nearby environments. Healthcare providers should keep up to date with new developments, research, and technologies screening for suicidal ideation, allowing them to effectively serve patients beyond their clinics’ walls. Key to prevention are strong physician patient relationships that help ensure care transitions allow for physicians to act as supportive contacts reaching out with calls, texts, letters and visits to their patients particularly when services are interrupted. With access to technology the role of psychiatrists, and psychologists may continue uninterrupted as telemedicine serves as an effective platform providing patients with access to care, even during lockdowns. Besides these objectives, greater awareness and education into the community means encouraging the responsible portrayal of suicide in mainstream media. A sensitive issue of this magnitude ought to be communicated responsibly placing special attention to not trigger susceptible individuals. With school based interventions, professionals may act sooner before worsened prognosis’ effectively ensuring that access to peer support services is available. 

Suicide prevention is a responsibility of healthcare systems, medical professionals and communities. All countries must stand in solidarity and unify in collaboration to battle this common threat as preventing the tragic loss of life to suicide is of utmost importance. 

References & Further Reading

  1. In Health and Behavioral Healthcare. (n.d.). Retrieved September 14, 2020, from http://zerosuicide.edc.org/toolkit/treat/interventions-suicide-risk 
  2. Psychiatry Online: DSM Library. (n.d.). Retrieved September 15, 2020, from https://dsm.psychiatryonline.org/doi/book/10.1176/appi.books.9780890425596 
Cite this article as: Leah Sarah Peer, Canada, "Suicide – An Emergency Priority of Public Health Care," in International Emergency Medicine Education Project, October 19, 2020, https://iem-student.org/2020/10/19/suicide-an-emergency-priority-of-public-health-care/, date accessed: September 24, 2021

iEM Monthly – August 2020

Welcome to the iEM Education Project Monthly Newsletter. We will share the achievements, information about top posts, chapters, activities and future plans of the project.

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Brenda Varriano

Brenda Varriano

Brenda has just completed her first year of medical school at Central Michigan University. She has an interest in Emergency Medicine, and participated in the 2020 STAR-EM (Summer Training and Research in Emergency Medicine) at Toronto Western Hospital. Aside from school she loves working out, drawing and listening to music. At school she volunteers with Special Olympics, designed a study that aims to develop a crisis preparedness toolkit for rural Older Adults Impacted by COVID-19 through CMU-CARES, and is working with a group of students to host Pre-Medical School Workshops. Brenda loves to see others succeed while keeping a healthy lifestyle and avoiding burnout.

Sheza Qayyum

Sheza Qayyum

My name is Sheza Qayyum, and I am a third-year medical student at the University of Toronto in Canada. My interests include medical education, FOAMed, and inner-city health. I am one of the podcast co-directors at the International Student Association of Emergency Medicine (ISAEM), which I enjoy greatly. I also love baking (and really all things food-related), chasing waterfalls with pretty hikes, and laughs with my friends and family.

Joseph Ciano

Joseph Ciano

Joey Ciano, DO is an Emergency Medicine Physician from New York, USA. He completed his Emergency Medicine Residency in Brooklyn, NY and is the current International Emergency Medicine Fellow in the Northwell-LIJ Health System. One of his main professional interests is building the educational infrastructure of EM in countries where EM is not yet recognized as a field and in countries that are in the early stages of this process. He has partnered with international NGOs in EM educational projects and works as a visiting EM faculty member in West Bengal, India. He is excited to collaborate with the other authors of the iEM Education Project to contribute to world of FOAM-ed.

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How to read pelvic x-rays, by Sara Nikolić and Gregor Prosen

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iEM Monthly – July 2020

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How to read pelvic x-rays, by Sara Nikolić and Gregor Prosen

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How to Read C-Spine X-Ray, by Dejvid Ahmetović and Gregor Prosen

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iEM Monthly – June 2020

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iEM Monthly – May 2020

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Keerthi Gondy

Keerthi Gondy

I'm a fourth-year medical student at the University of Michigan applying to Emergency Medicine. I am passionate about medical education, especially end-of-life care in the ED, and resilience/wellness. Outside of medical school, I am an avid triathlete, nature-lover, and an advocate on sustainability and climate change.

Joey Ciano

Joey Ciano

My name is Joey Ciano, I am a born and raised New Yorker currently working and living in Queens, NY. I am finishing my first year of International Emergency Medicine Fellowship in the Northwell Health system. My main interest in International EM is promoting EM systems building. This focuses on promoting the development of the specialty of EM in countries that have not yet recognized EM as a field or are in the early stages of this process. My main interest is working on the post-graduate educational infrastructure. I have done EM educational work in Uganda and continue to work in West Bengal, India to help educate practitioners in EM to help specialty development. COVID-19 has changed the way we teach locally and internationally, so I thought this project would be a great opportunity to reach international students in EM during these challenging times.

Amita Sudhir

Amita Sudhir

Amita Sudhir, MD is the Emergency Medicine Residency Program Director at the University of Virginia, USA. She was also the third year emergency medicine clerkship director for 8 years. She has authored several textbook chapters, an ACEP clinical policy (on NTSEMI ACS), lectured both nationally and internationally and created multiple curricula and educational modules. She is also on the Scientific Advisory Council (First Aid subcommittee) for the American Red Cross.

David Wiercigroch

David Wiercigroch

David Wiercigroch is a senior medical student at the University of Toronto in Canada. His interests are in health policy, international EM and global health. He enjoys collaborating with medical students around the world to advance EM through free-open access to medical education (FOAMed) and student leadership as part of the International Student Association of Emergency Medicine (ISAEM). He is an avid writer, aspiring chef and camping enthusiast.

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How to read chest x-raysby Ozlem Koksal

336.3 - normal PA chest x-ray AIRWAY STRUCTURES

How to read pelvic x-rays, by Sara Nikolić and Gregor Prosen

628.12 - femur neck fx

How to Read C-Spine X-Ray, by Dejvid Ahmetović and Gregor Prosen

626.4 - Figure 4 - c-spine lateral x-ray - alignement

iEM Monthly – April 2020

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How to read chest x-raysby Ozlem Koksal

336.3 - normal PA chest x-ray AIRWAY STRUCTURES

How to read pelvic x-rays, by Sara Nikolić and Gregor Prosen

628.12 - femur neck fx

How to Read C-Spine X-Ray, by Dejvid Ahmetović and Gregor Prosen

626.4 - Figure 4 - c-spine lateral x-ray - alignement

iEM Monthly: March 2020

iEM Monthly March 2020

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An Interview

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In this series, world-renowned experts will share their habits, give advice on life, wellness and the profession.

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a case decreasing resistance in er
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iEM Monthly – February 2020

iEM monthly newsletter February 2020
iEM monthly newsletter February 2020

Welcome to the iEM Education Project Monthly Newsletter. We will share the achievements, information about top posts, chapters, activities and future plans of the project.

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ROB ROGERS

Advisor

Trained in Emergency Medicine and Internal Medicine, Rob Rogers currently practices Emergency Medicine at the University of Kentucky’s Chandler Hospital in the Department of Emergency Medicine. An innovative medical educator on the cutting edge of creativity, he shares his knowledge on the monthly medical education Medutopia Podcast. Rob co-founded The Teaching Institute and in 2014 created The Teaching Course at The University of Maryland. As a passionate medical education enthusiast, podcast evangelist, learning choreographer, and entrepreneur, Rob works tirelessly to change the world of medical education by reinventing it. In 2017, Rob created Medutopia, an international think tank of medical educators who teach educators all over the world how to make a difference in med ed. 

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iEM Monthly – January 2020

january 2020

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Inside iEM

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happy new year 2020

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iEM was viewed more than 100.000 by over 60.000 visitors in 2019. Our resources reached to 197 countries. The first edition (2018) of free Emergency Medicine Clerkship Book has been downloaded over 4000 times. During 2019, we continuously published posts written by 29 blog authors. We thank all contributors and followers and wish you all a happy new year.

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Inside iEM

Two new blog authors joined us in December 2019. We welcome Dr. Israa M. Salih from UAE and Dr. Nadarajah Prasanna from Sri Lanka. 

Nadarajah PRASANNA

Sri Lanka

Senior registrar in emergency medicine at Postgraduate Institute of Medicine, University of Colombo. Full instructor for European Resuscitation Council ALS courses as well as local APLS and NLS courses. Completing the Full instructor pathway for International APLS and ATLS courses by 2020. Interested in resuscitation, pediatric emergency medicine, simulations and MEdED. Currently involved in teaching resuscitation courses as well as diploma in emergency nursing , EMT refresher course and medical student teaching.

Israa Saleh

UAE

EM resident in ZMH, Abudhabi. Served in human rights and peace office IFMSA | Advocate of FOAM | Profound interest in research, critical care and disaster medicine | Also a poet and part-time philosopher.

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iEM Monthly – December 2019

Monthly Newsletter December 2019

Welcome to the iEM Education Project Monthly Newsletter. We will share the achievements, information about top posts, chapters, activities and future plans of the project.

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iEM team is going to attend ESEM19 (Emirates Society of Emergency Medicine Scientific Conference 2019) in Abu Dhabi. 

esem19

iEM Endorses

icem2020-endorsement

Top Blog Post in November

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Free EM Clerkship Book

iEM Free Book (2018e) reached to >3500 downloads. The book is written by 133 authors from 19 countries. It includes 106 topics, 841 pages, 454 images.

ACEM2019 and Incredible India

ACEM 2019 and increadible India

The 10th Asian Conference on Emergency Medicine was successfully completed in New Delhi, India, during the last couple of days. The conference hosted around 1700 attendees around the globe, mainly Asia. There were approximately 300 speakers from all continents. Dr. Tamorish Kole and Dr. Sirinath Kumar were the two Emergency Medicine professionals who behind the success of this conference. Both experts are also a member of the board of directors of the Asian Society for Emergency Medicine (ASEM). At the end of the conference, Dr. Kole took over the presidency from Prof.Dr. Yildiray Cete (Turkey) who served to ASEM for two years.

ASEM board
Asian Society for Emergency Medicine, Board of Directors

Vice-President of India, Venkaiah Naidu, opened the conference with promising support to the improvement of Emergency Medicine care in India as well as highlighting the implementation of Emergency Medicine into the undergraduate curriculum. As many countries in Asia, Indian medical graduates are working in acute care settings after graduation. Therefore, focusing on undergraduate education can help many countries in the same context. 

Venkaiah Naidu
Venkaiah Naidu, Vice-President of India

This topic one of the items discussed in the ASEM Board of Directors meeting. Creating a widely acceptable undergraduate curriculum is a necessity for Asian countries, especially those in the development stage of Emergency Medicine. ASEM board formed a sub-committee to work on this highly significant problem. Dr. Mohan Tiru (Singapore) and I will be leading board members to continue and finalize the process. Because the International Federation for Emergency Medicine (IFEM) currently working on a comprehensive update process for its’ undergraduate curriculum, there is no need to reinvent the wheel for ASEM. Taking the updated version of the IFEM undergraduate curriculum as the main framework and working on it to create a precise Asian undergraduate curriculum will be enough and probably the fastest way. However, there is a need to understand the current situation and needs in Asian countries. Therefore, the sub-committee of ASEM will work on learning needs assessment and current situation analysis until the IFEM undergraduate curriculum finalized. The expected time for the new updated version of the IFEM undergraduate curriculum is April-May 2020. Completing learning needs assessment and current situation analysis of Asia by March-April 2020 will give the Asian board a chance to move forward with updated IFEM undergraduate curriculum. Probably, developing the Asian curriculum will be possible in a short period of time until the end of 2020.

ASEM board meeting
Asian Society for Emergency Medicine, Board of Directors Meeting

While ACEM2019 continues, I was able to meet a couple of contributors to the International Emergency Medicine Education Project. I visited Rob Rogers’ well-known course, Medutopia, which aims to increase the quality of the teaching skills of educators. According to Dr. Rogers, this is the most enthusiastic and knowledgable group since the Medutopia journey has begun. Dr. Andy Little and Dr. Mike Giosondi were other two experts who gave the course with Dr. Rogers. You can read and listen to Dr. Rogers’ contributions to the International Emergency Medicine Education Project here.

I also came across to Dr. Simon Carley from Manchester, who is well-known for ST.EMLYN’s blog. He gave a couple of amazing talks during the conference, including one plenary presentation.

Simon Carley, plenary session
Simon Carley, plenary session
Arif Alper Cevik and Simon Carley
Arif Alper Cevik and Simon Carley

One of the surprising things was meeting with one of our blog authors Dr. Kaushila Thilakasiri (Sri Lanka) and her team. This energetic group was not only coming for ASEM to attend meetings, but they also came to compete in SimWars. And of course, they won the first prize.

Kaushila Thilakasiri and Sri Lanka team

Two days of workshops and three days of the busy scientific program passed like lightning. In addition to scientific activities, ACEM 2019 team prepared many social events for participants. I think, socially and scientifically, ACEM 2019 was a very busy conference. This created many networking opportunities.

One of the final event was graduation ceremony of 2018-2019 class of Emergency Medicine residents. Around 120 new graduated were appreciated with a nicely setted up ceremony with attendence of leaders of Emergency Medicine such as Prof. Lee Wallis (Past President of IFEM), Dr. Taj Hassan (Pas President of Royal College of Emergency Medicine) and Prof. James Ducharme (President of IFEM) as well as local leaders of Emergency Medicine of India.

2018-2019 Indian Emergency Medicine Graduates
2018-2019 Indian Emergency Medicine Graduates

As a summary, ACEM2019 was a successful gathering for international Emergency Medicine experts and Asian emergency physicians, residents and medical students.

ACEM 2021 will be in Hong Kong. ASEM board of directors decided to give ACEM2023 to Manila, Phillipines and ACEM2025 to Dubai, United Arab Emirates. We hope to see you all in these upcoming events.

Cite this article as: Arif Alper Cevik, "ACEM2019 and Incredible India," in International Emergency Medicine Education Project, November 13, 2019, https://iem-student.org/2019/11/13/acem2019-and-incredible-india/, date accessed: September 24, 2021

iEM Monthly – November 2019

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Monthly Newsletter November 2019

Welcome to the iEM Education Project Monthly Newsletter. We will share the achievements, information about top posts, chapters, activities and future plans of the project.

Hot News!

iEM will attend the Asian Conference on Emergency Medicine held in New Delhi, India. The conference is on 7-10 November and organized by the Society of Emergency Medicine, India. We are looking forward to meeting members of the #FOAMed family at the conference.

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october 2019
One hundred fifty-nine countries visited iEM content in October 2019. The total number of countries visited iEM platform is 189.

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Free EM Clerkship Book

iEM Free Book (2018e) reached to >3500 downloads. The book is written by 133 authors from 19 countries. It includes 106 topics, 841 pages, 454 images.