The Graduate Medical Education (GME) Subcommittee consists of Program Directors across the U.S. that are responsible for training the future of Public Health and General Preventive Medicine physicians. In keeping with this section of the ACPM Newsletter, May is Mental Health Awareness Month and coming from the GME Subcommittee it seems befitting to discuss the ACGME Well Being Resources available on ACGME Learn. ACGME Learn is available for leadership, faculty, trainees and even non-faculty preceptors involved in GME to provide support for a healthy and compliant educational environment. While there is a plethora of training opportunities through the ACGME Learn platform that can be used to help with several ACGME requirements, the resources that are available for mental health are not only timely but provide the space for trainees and faculty to enhance their skills in coping and resilience. Many of these resources were not available when a lot of us went through training but I for one am happy they are here now.

It is understood that ‘physicians are at a higher risk of suicide and suicidal ideation than the general population’. Considering this information, it makes sense for residency programs to incorporate training that helps to prevent this distressing outcome. Through the ACGME Learn platform in the Well-Being section there is a link to the National Academy of Medicine’s Resource Compendium for Health Care Worker Well Being. Accessing this resource lands you on the National Alliance on Mental Illness website and while reviewing this page on resilience, one area spoke to me, social support. Resilience thrives in being able to talk to someone when you are up, sure, but also when you are down. Learning to lean on others in your time of need. Being self-aware enough to say, ‘I need help’, and knowing that it is ok to do this is an important skill to develop. Understanding the need for social support so that you have a sense of belonging and purpose. I remember feeling isolated when I first started coming to my specialty society meetings as a resident. Having to deal with the stares and the constant, nagging feeling that I did not belong. Remembering that feeling is where I will end this ‘ode’ to mental health and simply say, be kind. You never know how you could be helping someone by just smiling and saying hello, maybe offering some form of assistance. Our future, and possibly even some current, PM physicians could use our support in making sure they know they belong.

Chair, Graduate Medical Education Subcommittee
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