Rydal Penrhos Community
Dr Alys Cole-King interviewed by The Guardian on NHS staff suicides

Dr Alys Cole-King interviewed by The Guardian on NHS staff suicides

A former Rydal Penrhos pupil has spoken to a national publication about the increased risk of suicide in the health profession.

Dr Alys Cole-King, who attended Penrhos College, stated the increased pressure on NHS workers should result in a “good study” launched relating to this stress and those working for the organisation taking their own life.

The 50-year-old has become a prominent figure on social media site Twitter in raising awareness on the subject, with recent Office for National Statistics (ONS) figures showing that nurses and doctors are among occupational groups at increased risk of suicide.

Speaking to the Guardian, she said: “I like to look after my colleagues and I was just picking up on distress on Twitter.

“No good study has yet been undertaken to prove a link between NHS workplace stress and suicide. Moreover, suicide is never caused by one single factor. But there is evidence that NHS professionals don’t always feel able to say when they are not coping.

“There is huge secrecy about admitting if you are struggling when you are a professional working in the NHS. I think every suicide is a tragedy, but there is something particularly resonant for me about the NHS family. I suppose I can identify because I work with these people every day.

“You don’t have to be mentally ill to experience suicidal thoughts, which are far more common than people realise; feeling overwhelmed by one’s problems or situation and struggling to see a way out can be enough to set such thoughts flickering.”

A parent of Upper Sixth Form pupil Amy, Dr Cole-King shares her time at Connecting with People, which has extended its remit to schools, universities and councils, and working as a consultant liaison psychiatrist at Betsi Cadwaladr University Health Board.

She recently won a prestigious award from the International Association for Suicide Prevention for her dedication to the topic.

“Try and see it as a sign to change something in your life, not end your life,” added Dr Cole-King, who offered advice to those contemplating suicide.

“It can be just about thinking how you can get through the next few minutes, the next half an hour, or next few hours – as much as you feel you can deal with at the time.”

You can read the full article here: https://www.theguardian.com/society/2018/jan/16/alys-cole-king-suicide-nhs-doctors-nurses-winter-crisis.

 

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