First memorial tree to NHS medics who died by suicide planted in Scotland

One nurse dies by suicide per week in the UK, with one doctor every three weeks taking their own life, statistics showed.

First memorial tree to NHS medics who died by suicide planted in Scotland PA Media

A memorial tree will be planted at a Scottish hospital for the first time to commemorate NHS medics who took their own lives.

Statistics show that in the UK, one doctor takes their own life every three weeks and one nurse takes their own life every week.

The tragic trend was attributed in part to workplace pressures.

After the death of cardiologist Jagdip Sidhu in 2018, a charity, Doctors in Distress, was set up by his brother to help address the issue.

The charity launched the National Memorial Tree Campaign, to remember medics who took their own lives.

A rowan tree will be planted at Gartnavel General Hospital in Glasgow on Thursday, which will be the first memorial tree to health workers in Scotland.

The rowan tree is a native Scottish species that symbolises life and protection.

NHS Greater Glasgow and Clyde non-executive director, Michelle Wailes, said: “Having this tree right outside the main hospital on Gartnavel campus will hopefully give staff a place where, even for a short time, they can pause for reflection.

“NHS Greater Glasgow and Clyde treats its duty of care to all staff as a fundamental cornerstone of how we act as an organisation and we have a number of support mechanisms in place staff can access if they need support.”

Chief executive of Doctors in Distress, Ann Paul, said: “We would like every hospital in the country to support our National Memorial Tree Campaign and plant a memorial tree, which will highlight their commitment to protecting the mental health and wellbeing of their staff.

“Together we can help to break down the stigma around mental health and help to prevent further suicides.”

Amandip Sidhu, founder of Doctors in Distress said: “My cardiologist brother died by suicide in 2018 therefore this is a very emotive topic for me. It is really important for me to know that there are NHS hospitals which understand the pressure their workforce has faced and continues to have to deal with, and who are prepared to talk about the issue of suicide in the workforce.

“Doctors in Distress was founded specifically to eliminate the stigma surrounding suicide and to provide the support our colleagues need in order to continue doing the amazing work they do.”

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