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NBC26 Special Report: Suicide & Doctors

Tonight on NBC26 Live at 10:00
Posted at 12:58 PM, Oct 25, 2016
and last updated 2016-10-25 23:42:43-04
Doctors are more than twice as likely to die by suicide than other professions. And until recently, some felt it was considered "weak" to even mention feeling overwhelmed by the job.
Now, more doctors are doing more to get people talking about it. Doctor Peter Johnson is the director of gynecological, oncology and palliative care at Aurora BayCare Medical Center.
 
He says it can be difficult for a medical professional to deliver the hard news at the end of life, especially when a doctor thinks a patient has been cured. "Many times I'm the one that finds these cancers and actually determines that its an incurable cancer."
 
For some doctors it becomes too much and they choose to change professions, retire early, or end their own life due to emotional exhaustion.
 
Doctor Johnson says he's lost colleagues to suicide after being surrounded by despair. "Its something that they need to accept, and its going to be people they never expect you know the 25 year old after a bad car accident and is dead on arrival, the 10 year old that's medicine that's life."
 
Organizations like Prevent Suicide Fox Cities work to educate the public on depression and mental illness, something that plays a role in 90% of suicides. "Mental illness has such a stigma around it and people have a hard time acknowledging those around them who have mental illness or if they have mental illness themselves," Dr. Johnson explained.
 
 If you or someone you know is dealing with depression, suicidal thoughts or mental illness there are resources available in Northeast Wisconsin.
 
Brown County Coalition for Suicide Prevention:
 
 
To learn more about Doctors and the risk for suicide, join us for a special report on NBC26 Live at 10:00.