Our inspiration for this project follows the publication of a recent meta-analysis in JAMA in November 2016, analysing cross sectional and longitudinal studies of mental health of over 120,000 medical students in 43 countries worldwide. The paper reports depression prevalence rates of 27.2% and a staggering 11.1% prevalence rate for suicidal ideation. Such high rates are highly concerning, and AMSI believe that action should be taken in order to reduce them.
Following consultation with AMSI representatives from each of the 7 Medical Schools, Our Med Minds was born.
This is a week that aims to:
- Create awareness amongst medical students, medical schools and practicing professionals- as well as the general public, of the issues facing medical students' mental health and wellbeing.
- Guide students across the 7 medical schools as to the resources available to them in terms of support for a variety of issues, from academic to personal.
- Create a communication channel, through AMSI, between the students and their medical schools, in order to collaborate on improving medical student wellbeing.
- Normalise certain stressors that may be felt by students, demonstrate that they are ubiquitous. We aim to open up peer to peer conversation and showcase a strong sense of community among medical students.
During the week, a number of events are happening, including:
1. Interactive workshop / talk evenings across the 7 universities, based around communication, reflection, resilience and awareness of specific mental health conditions that medical students may find themselves facing.
2. A nationwide survey of 7000 medical students, aimed at improving the quality of mental wellbeing services provided by medical schools to their students.
3. A live webinar with Dr. Zeshan Quareshi, to be streamed internationally.
4. A multimedia campaign aimed at promoting awareness, normalising stress and opening up to our peers about the mental health difficulties medical students face.
We believe that the week has significant potential, and it is time to get medical students talking.