Could explicit teaching of coping planning in suicide prevention curricula improve resilience in medical students?
The problems with doctor of mental health have again been recently highlighted — an anonymous junior doctor penned his/her distress following the deaths of two colleagues by suicide (Anonymous 2017). The author attributed the deaths to occupational stress, though admitted that the triggers and struggles of those that died were not made public. The personal distress of the author is palpable throughout the article, and its causes go beyond workplace stress alone — perfectionism, unhealthy coping skills, overemphasis on what others think, and anger. These are well-known factors associated with mental health problems and self-harm in medical students (e.g. Kaur & Martin 2017). Irrespective of the immediate, contextual, and historical antecedents, the colleagues who died by suicide lacked alternative coping strategies — the 3Rs: resilience, responsibility and resolve (Eley & Stallman 2014) .