Veterinarians are more likely to commit suicide than the general public. Actually, I think it is: Veterinarians are more likely to die of their suicide attempts than the general public. Because we know how to kill things.
Yes, I said it.
Euthanasia is a part of our job, whether we like it or not.
We have a right to say no. We have a right to protect our mental health.
So what spurred yet another Mental Health post?
Dr. Josh Smith, a veterinarian and critical care specialist has recently committed suicide, spiking the talk amongst the veterinary community on social media platforms and trying to bring awareness to the struggles of our profession. Visit the GoFundMe page for his fiancée and family.
Mental health awareness is not meant for one day. It's not meant for one week or a month. It's every day. Every day that we put on our scrubs, and every day we are at home, trying to give ourselves a respite from the stressors at work. Our inner critic does not take a rest after we clock out. That voice inside our heads is our worst enemy.
So what can we do about it? Keep talking.
Here are a few resources for the veterinary community:
CDC Report: Suicide Risk for Veterinarians and Veterinary Technicians
CVMA Mental Health Awareness Week Sept 5-11, 2021
World Small Animal Veterinary Association Professional Wellness Group
Be kind to yourself.
Here is another recent interview and article on Dr. Josh Smith on dvm360.com posted on March 12, 2021.
Crisis prevention course with AVMA here.
A great video produced by a Canadian veterinarian.
This TED talk by Dr. Bowden.