A country doctor’s grieving wife and father comes clean after her workload caused her panic attacks before taking her own life, as a shocking new report emerges about supporting health workers.
- The widow opened up about her husband’s death
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A grieving widow has revealed how her husband suffered from panic attacks from the overwhelming workload of being a country doctor before taking his own life.
Mother and nurse Carly Smalley were widowed after her husband, pediatrician and pediatric intensive care specialist Nathan, died by suicide in July. 2020.
Ms Smalley recalled how her husband’s mental well-being skyrocketed in the run up to his death with the pediatrician taking medication to stay awake and then some more to help him sleep while trying to keep up with his ever-changing workload. elderly.
A grieving widow has revealed how her husband suffered from panic attacks from the overwhelming workload of being a country doctor before taking his own life (Pictured Nathan and Carley Smalley)
Mother and nurse Carly Smalley were widowed after her husband Nathan died by suicide in July 2020
His comment comes as the nation’s medical regulator, the Australian Health Professionals Regulation Agency, comes under scrutiny for its support of healthcare workers.
A new report showed that 16 healthcare workers had self-reported to the regulator before taking their own life between January 2018 and December 2021.
Ms Smalley said her husband had been so stressed and overworked that he resorted to desperate measures to try and stay ahead.
“As demand increased, Nath would bring his notes home to write at night, but he was having trouble staying awake, so unbeknownst to me, he began using illicit drugs to help him stay awake,” he said. the daily telegraph.
Ms Smalley said her husband had sought help from AHPRA in November 2019, but the couple had not heard from them for the first six weeks.
Nathan then received a call on the Friday before Christmas telling him that his license had been suspended while they investigated the matter.
“It was extremely stressful and there wasn’t any kind of ‘this is the next step’ or whatever,” Ms Smalley said.
Nathan was recommended to see a psychiatrist and attend rehab every day in February 2020.
Ms Smalley described AHPRA’s communication as “poor” and “ignored” by the medical regulator.
Nathan took his own life five months later, in July.
His distraught widow said that Nathan had a poor sense of self-worth and self-worth and found happiness in helping people.
Mei-Khing Loo lost her obstetrician husband, Dr. Yen-Yung Yap, to suicide in 2020
She said the decision to suspend him from pediatrics devastated him.
“We would go to our little town and see our patients and he would just take full responsibility for letting them down on top of everything else,” he said.
AHPRA chief executive Martin Fletcher described the latest report from the medical regulator as “confrontational”.
“The findings of this research are deeply conflicting, but we commissioned it to learn and do better,” he said.
“We want to clearly understand the pressure points in our processes that cause the most distress and change them.”
Sixteen people took their own lives between 2018 and 2021, while another two attempted suicide or self-harm.
Mei-Khing Loo lost her obstetrician husband, Dr. Yen-Yung Yap, to suicide in 2020.
Dr. Yen-Yung Yap was prohibited from performing unsupervised vaginal deliveries while AHPRA investigated a complaint about the use of suction on two babies.
Ms Loo said the stress of the investigation was slowly eating away at him.
“It has destroyed my family,” he said.
“That is the consequence of these investigations, they separate families. I think that many other families have gone through the same thing that I have.”
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