She was unflappable. A gifted overachiever. A much-loved doctor whom people were drawn to. And yet, Lorna Breen, a physician and emergency department supervisor at a busy New York City hospital, succumbed to suicide in April 2020.
Dr. Breen’s brother-in-law, Corey Feist, co-founder and president of the Dr. Lorna Breen Heroes’ Foundation, shared his family’s emotional story and their commitment to help prevent tragic suicides among physicians and other caregivers at an MHA task force meeting last month.
This is a commitment we all share. September is Suicide Prevention Awareness Month, and September 17 is National Physician Suicide Awareness Day. This day of recognition is sadly necessary, because 400 physicians die by suicide each year, and shocking data show that physicians and nurses die by suicide at twice the rate of the general population.
MHA’s Workforce Task Force report says the hospital field should support the health of our workforce however possible. MHA now is exploring a partnership with the Heroes’ Foundation, as well as other ways to ensure the safety and well-being of our 120,000 associates.
Maryland’s dedicated caregivers cannot effectively do their jobs and lead fulfilling lives if they themselves are suffering. Help is available for those who need it. If you or someone you know is struggling or in crisis, callortext988 or chat(via 988lifeline.org)to reach the National Suicide & Crisis Lifeline.
President & CEO