BAFTA winner, former NHS doctor and bestselling author Adam Kay recently planted a tree at a Stanmore hospital as a memorial to health workers lost to suicide.
The author of This is Going to Hurt joined representatives of charity Doctors in Distress to plant the tree at the Royal National Orthopaedic Hospital (RNOH) on May 25.
Doctors in Distress aims to raise awareness of the underreported issue of health worker suicide and the importance of providing mental health support.
Adam said he is proud to support the charity in raising awareness of the issue and protecting healthcare workers.
He said: “The facts that one NHS doctor takes their life every three weeks and one nurse dies by suicide every week are horrifying and almost unbelievable statistics. Sadly, it’s one that has been brushed under hospital carpets for many years, with no real sign of change.
“The first step in solving a problem must be in admitting that the problem exists, and this is something I tried to highlight in the BBC adaptation of my book, This is Going to Hurt. The series culminated in the death by suicide of a doctor called Shruti – a fictional character based on so many tragic stories. In the show, a tree was planted in her memory, which has led to trees being planted in real-life hospitals to commemorate lost colleagues.”
Prof Paul Fish, CEO of RNOH, added: “The issue of suicide within the medical profession is a very real one and many of us will have been affected by such a tragedy. Only by beginning to acknowledge this problem can we start to address the factors that lead to suicide among our colleagues.”