A not-so-cheery festive blog

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Unaltered image from https://commons.wikimedia.org/wiki/File:Christmas_candle_snowman_with_lights.jpg - thanks Digidreamgrafix


It’s that time of year – parties, tinsel, cheesy music and bright lights. So what better topic for an uplifting CiRN blog before the Christmas holidays than suicide among doctors?


Behind the lights and noise, this can be a difficult time of year. Dark and cold; short days spent stuck inside faced with an endless stream of patients. A continual bed crisis, time and energy spent fighting to achieve a barely adequate standard of care. Stress and frustration and exhaustion.


There is a higher rate of suicide among medical professionals than the general population. This partly reflects on stressful jobs, partly knowledge and access to means of killing ourselves, and partly on reluctance to admit needing help. Medical professionals have similar rates of mental ill-health to the general population, but are much less likely to seek treatment.


We are all vulnerable sometimes, we are all at risk. Most of us will have friends and colleagues who have taken their own lives. So we have to watch out for ourselves and those around us. There is no shame or weakness in needing help, and help is here for us.


A few resources are available at:






Wishing you a very happy Christmas,



P.S. In other cheerful festive news, the BMJ have found Santa Clause is less likely to visit children in poor areas. Not even Santa is immune from the illusion-crushing effects of 2016 it seems.


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