A.T. Still University-School of Osteopathic Medicine in Arizona (ATSU-SOMA) students participated in the Council of Osteopathic Student Government Presidents (COSGP)’s DO Day of Wellness on March 4 by wearing green in support of mental health awareness.
“Raising awareness about the mental health of physicians is very important because 400 physicians commit suicide annually, which is greater than twice the suicide rate of the general population,” said Rachel Visconti, OMS III.
COSGP promotes wellness of body, mind, and spirit through Osteopathic Medical Student Wellness Week. Each day is dedicated to one of the main tenets of the osteopathic philosophy. ATSU-SOMA students participated in a variety of activities, from conversations with faculty who shared their personal stories of battling anxiety and depression, to spending time with support animals to relieve stress.
ATSU-SOMA has a Mental Health and Wellness Committee that is part of the Student Government Association on campus that plans monthly wellness initiatives to keep the focus on body, mind, and spirit wellness all year long.
“By spreading awareness about this, we can reduce the stigma associated with mental illness and hopefully help those physicians seek help before taking their life. Spreading awareness can also encourage medical schools, residency programs and hospitals to provide more resources for their students and employees,” said Visconti.