Canadian Federation of
Medical Students
About the CFMS
The CFMS is an organization representing over 8,000 medical students from 15 Canadian medical student societies from coast to coast. We represent medical students to the public, to the federal government, and to national and international medical organizations.
CFMS Letter of Condolence to Medical Students in Mourning of Ryan Séguin
December 14, 2019

The CFMS sends condolences to the Ryan’s family and friends as they mourn the loss of an amazing member of the medical student community.

Please see our letter to Canadian medical students below

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Dear Colleagues, 

It is with deep sadness that I am writing to you on behalf of the Canadian Federation of Medical Students (CFMS) Board to express our sincere condolences for the loss of our colleague Ryan Séguin, from the University of Ottawa 2021 cohort. Ryan died by suicide on Thursday December 5th. In these past days, we have heard about the amazing advocate Ryan was for mental health and wellness, his role as a peer supporter and mentor, as well as his caring personality and demeanour. Ryan is described as a genuine person who was always thoughtful and kind. He was and continues to be held in the highest regard by his colleagues.

We are deeply saddened by this loss and would like to offer our condolences to Ryan’s family, friends and his fellow classmates and colleagues at the University of Ottawa. You are all in our thoughts and we extend our deepest sympathies.

The CFMS has reached out directly to the University of Ottawa Aesculapian Societyto ensure we honour Ryan’s memory. We send our deepest condolences and support to Ryan’s family during this difficult time. The CFMS will be making a $1,000 donation in Ryan’s name to a memorial fund or charity of his family’s choosing.

The loss of a colleague is always difficult, and it is a normal response for events such as this to add emotional or psychological stress, on top of the already immense demands of being a medical student. It is critical that all of us take time to prioritize our own mental health during medical training and throughout our medical careers. We would like to take this opportunity to remind students of the availability of supports from your Student Affairs and MD Program administration offices, as well other resources and helplines that are available to you, your friends and classmates who may be struggling, now and always. The CFMS is also always available to help connect students with resources.

We must continue to destigmatize mental health struggles during medical training and amongst the profession. It is important that we acknowledge that depression, anxiety, burnout, and suicide are all too common amongst those in the medical profession, and that to take care of others, we have to take care of ourselves. The CFMS prioritizes creating health promoting learning environments that support individual wellbeing. The CFMS created its National Wellness Program in 2018 as our way of addressing and advocating for improved health and wellness amongst medical students. While the medical community has made significant strides, we still have much work to do. As President, you have my word that I will, and that the CFMS will, do everything we can to de-stigmatize mental health in medical training, create health-promoting learning environments for students, and create a better medical culture.

The University of Ottawa Aesculapian Society will be distributing yellow suicide prevention awareness ribbons on campus in order to further awareness around mental health and suicide. We encourage each medical society to do the same. These ribbons can be purchased here.

Sincerely with deepest condolences,

Victor Do, CFMS President 2019-2020, [email protected]

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