Granby doctor's death by suicide raises alarms over COVID-19 stress

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by Emily Campbell and Adam Kovac, CTV Montreal

A Granby doctor's death by suicide shocked Quebec's medical community. Now, Karine Dion's family is speaking out, saying stress from the COVID-19 pandemic led to her death.

Dion was 35 at the time of her death and had been practicing medicine for a decade.

“I lost my wife, my life,” said her husband, David Daigle. “The mother of my children. I just want to send a message for her, because she really was an incredible woman.”

That message: Quebec's healthcare workers are not getting the support they need.

According to the Canadian Association of Emregency Physicians, one out of six doctors contemplates suicide. Between five and eight per cent have reported thinking about it this year alone.

Rod Lim, a physician and spokesperson for the association, said the most difficult part has yet to come.

“It's a scary time. Emergency doctors, we care very much about the population we serve. It's difficult to know that, as hard as things have been, darker days are ahead.”

With the healthcare system stretched to its limits, many doctors report feelings of guilt if they take time off. Diane Francoeur of the Federation of Quebec Medical Specialists said their physician assistance program is busier than ever.

“We've seen an increase of 22 per cent in calls between June and December, so that says everything,” she said. “We have to do something about it.”

If you need help, here's where you can find it

People struggling with suicidal thoughts can contact the free helpline at 833-456-4566 or by texting 'START' to 741741. The service is available 24/7. 

If ever you need help, don't hesitate to reach out to:

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