Our mission here at LIFE is to reduce burnout and suicide rates of those working in the healthcare industry through education, awareness, and support. We know that mental health for healthcare workers has been overlooked for too long, so we’re doing something about it. And the best part is– we’re not alone. Here are some of the highlights of accomplishments in mental health awareness for healthcare professionals:
Lorna Breen Act
Lorna Breen, an ER Physician, died by suicide in April 2020. The Covid-19 pandemic exacerbated the stress and burnout of those working in Covid units across the country, including Lorna. Lorna's sister, Jennifer, decided to take action after her sister's death. With a background in law, she knew the most impactful way to create change was to take political action. The Lorna Breen Act strives to educate present and future healthcare workers about suicide prevention and causes in the medical industry using evidence-based programs and studying the tolls the Covid-19 pandemic took on frontline healthcare workers. As of now, this act is waiting for the President’s approval to become law.
Dr. Shah’s Proposed Bill
Arizona Representative Amish Shah started his career as a physician. Now that he has transferred his knowledge and background into the political space, he is using his voice to advocate for mental health. Many of his proposed bills are centered around equal representation for all and proper mental healthcare, especially for those working in the field. One of his most recent accomplishments is the passing of Arizona HB2429. This Bill not only establishes and defines a health professional wellness program, but it requires records of a physician's participation in the program to be confidential. We applaud this huge step to breaking the stigma for physicians and mental health.
AzCEP’s New President
Our founder, Dr. Mara Windsor, is now serving as the president of the Arizona College of Emergency Physicians. This means that our LIFE mission will be heard at one of the leading colleges of emergency medicine in Arizona! We are so excited that Mara will be able to speak LIFE into the next generation of Arizona ER physicians, and we hope that this will be a way to increase awareness of suicide prevention in the medical professional community.
ARMA Virtual Doctors’ Lounge
The Arizona Medical Association has launched its Virtual Doctors’ Lounge. This is a virtual space where healthcare professionals can connect with their peers about the struggles unique to doctors. This proven program gives physicians a confidential outlet to create space to talk about how the stress, burnout, fatigue, and mental burden their job may be impacting their life in and out of work. The incredible part is that all coaches are physician volunteers. This means that other healthcare professionals understand the impact and importance of having space to express struggles so much so that they volunteer their time to be able to allow struggling physicians a chance to talk about how their job may be impacting them. You can check it out here.
We are so excited to see the seed of political change begin to blossom. We know how important it is that physicians are represented in mental healthcare and awareness. These changes are saving lives, and we are honored to be a part of the process. One of the ways we are accomplishing this goal is by cultivating a strong group of student ambassadors. Our ambassadors range in age from middle school up to medical school, and all are passionate about bringing awareness and prevention to suicide in teens and adults.
Our 2nd Annual Living In Fulfilled Enlightenment Pickleball Tournament will be held on September 17, 2022. The proceeds from the tournament will be donated to Xavier College Preparatory's Positive Psychology organization. Gifts are directed to support student counseling, wellness programs, and other initiatives related to mental health.