Veterinarians Work to Prevent Suicide as Study Finds Increased Risk: “There Is Absolutely Nothing Weak about Asking for Help”
March 01, 2019
A recent study found that veterinarians, especially females, are at higher risk for suicide than the general population. Factors associated with that risk may include stressful work conditions, financial pressure, and access to lethal drugs. In response, the veterinary field has launched a variety of efforts to promote mental health. For example, the American Veterinary Medical Association offers its members free suicide prevention training, stress reduction resources, and a peer support program. Some veterinary hospitals are instituting policies that promote staff wellness. The Facebook group Not One More Vet provides a forum for veterinarians to share resources and coping tips. Many veterinarians may be reluctant to reach out when they are struggling, according to Natalie Marks, a veterinarian and medical director at Blum Animal Hospital in Chicago. “There is absolutely nothing weak about asking for help,” she said.
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