New bill to help stressed out medical students
JEFFERSON CITY – The Missouri House of Representatives discussed a bill Thursday to help minimize stress and reduce the risk of depression in medical students.
The bill proposes medical students take an online survey to screen for symptoms of depression. The system will then report any at-risk behaviors to mental health professionals.
Suicide rates for medical students are 15-30 percent higher than the normal population, according to the American Foundation for Suicide Prevention.
“Asking for help is something that should be okay and that shouldn’t be really a question or dilemma people have to go through and I think working to make that easier for people to get the access and care and assistance they need is always a good way to move,” University of Missouri medical student Drew Hensel said.
He said while he sees stress affecting his fellow students especially during test times, he doesn’t let the every day stress get to him.
“You had to do a lot to get in this medical school so I feel like I’ve been very well prepared going here for undergrad and just going through life. Yes, it will be more stressful but it won’t be anything I can’t handle,” Hensel said.
The bill is part of the “Show-Me Compassionate Medical Education Act” and would establish a committee consisting of representatives from each of the medical schools in Missouri and the Director of the Department of Mental Health.