Missouri Medical Schools Raise Awareness for Mental Health Education

Medical student studying

Medical schools statewide unite for Show-Me Compassionate Medical Education Day on Sept. 17

According to the American Foundation for Suicide Prevention, medical students are three times more likely to commit suicide than the rest of the general population in their age range. To remove the stigma often associated with mental health among medical students, the state’s medical schools have come together to mark the third Monday in September as Show-Me Compassionate Medical Education Day.

Laine Young-Walker, MD
Laine Young-Walker, MD

“As students learn to take care of others, this stress can unfortunately take a toll on their mental well-being,” said Laine Young-Walker, MD, associate dean for student programs at the University of Missouri School of Medicine and chief medical director of children’s services with the Missouri Department of Mental Health. “Show-Me Compassionate Medical Education Day is a time for our state’s medical schools to mark the importance of our students’ mental health. Our goal is to promote the health and well-being of our medical students — physically, mentally, emotionally and relationally.”

Missouri medical schools marking Show-Me Compassionate Medical Education Day include:

  • A.T. Still University-Kirksville College of Osteopathic Medicine
  • Kansas City University of Medicine and Biosciences
  • Saint Louis University School of Medicine
  • University of Missouri-Kansas City School of Medicine
  • University of Missouri School of Medicine in Columbia
  • Washington University School of Medicine in St. Louis

Missouri Senate Bill 52 was signed into law in July 2017, establishing Aug. 28, 2017, as the first Show-Me Compassionate Medical Education Day. A committee of the state’s medical school leaders came together to designate the third Monday in September as a day to raise awareness of medical student well-being, with various awareness activities scheduled throughout the week.

Medical schools across Missouri have developed dedicated resources to help medical students maintain a healthy work-life balance and self-care. Though resources among the schools may vary, they include assistance such as counseling and psychological services, academic support and tutoring, student fitness and other wellness groups.

“The medical schools of Missouri are dedicated to reducing the stigma of mental health issues and prioritizing lifelong mental health well-being for future physicians,” said Lori Haxton, MA, ATSU vice president for student affairs.

To learn more about the mental health resources available at Missouri medical schools, contact: