Guest Blog: NJ Residents Participate in an AFSP Out of the Darkness Walk
As part of PRMS’ ongoing efforts to support the behavioral healthcare community and promote the organizations that work towards this mission, we are pleased to feature Dr. Brett Kramer, Resident-Fellow Trustee to the Board of the New Jersey Psychiatric Association and PGY-2 at the AtlantiCare Psychiatry Residency Training Program, as a guest blogger this month. Dr. Kramer reflects on his team’s participation in the American Foundation for Suicide Prevention Out of the Darkness Walk on November 7, 2021 in Middlesex County, NJ.
As psychiatry residents, we have all experienced through our patients the despair they face, which can lead them to suicidal thoughts. Our firsthand experiences throughout training is why the members of our Resident-Fellow Member (RFM) chapter chose to bring light to the issue of suicide. The RFM chapter is a part of the New Jersey Psychiatric Association (NJPA) and consists of more than 150 psychiatry residents and fellows all throughout the state of New Jersey.
According to the American Foundation for Suicide Prevention (AFSP), 1.38 million Americans attempted suicide in 2019, which has resulted in suicide being the 10th leading cause of death in the United States. It is even more striking among the population of 10- to 19-year-olds where suicide is the second leading cause of death. This is why it is so important to let people who are experiencing suicidal thoughts know that they are not alone.
I am really proud of the showing that the RFMs made for AFSP’s Out of the Darkness Walk. We were able to double our fundraising goal and strengthen the connection NJPA has with our community. This is the third event as part of our Psychiatrists in Service program that the New Jersey psychiatry residents have participated in. One of my goals was to solidify the Psychiatrists in Service program as an annual event for NJPA, and I couldn’t think of a better way to do so than to participate in one of the AFSP’s community walks. AFSP donates more than 80% of its funds to programs targeted to prevent and to recover from suicide attempts, making the organization one of the largest in the country to shed light on suicide – not just as an individual issue but as one that affects the entire community.
You can learn more about AFSP and its mission, Out of the Darkness Walks, and how to donate at https://afsp.org/.
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