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If You're A Veterinarian, You Could Be At Serious Risk For Suicidal Thoughts

FEBRUARY 12, 2017  —  By Matthew Derrick  
Matthew Derrick

Matthew Derrick

Writer and sassy ginger currently residing in central Pennsylvania. Matt spends most of his free time online shopping for clothing that he doesn't need, perfecting the art of eye-rolling, and indulging in all forms of pop culture.

Visiting your veterinarian’s office is a lot like visiting the doctor, except the vet’s patients aren’t able to speak for themselves.

While most pets aren’t always thrilled about visiting the vet, as pet parents, we can rest easy knowing that our animals are getting the best health care possible to ensure they live long, healthy lives. Your vet is responsible for administering your pet’s shots, providing treatment for diseases, and for making sure your animals are registered with the state in case they are lost or stolen. You vet can be a literal lifesaver. They may even be putting your animals' lives before their own.

As a new study revealed, while veterinarians deal with the health of your pets, their own mental-health may be suffering.

The nation’s first mental health survey of veterinarians in the United States has revealed that vets are more likely to experience mental disorders when compared to the rest of the U.S. adult population.

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As part of the survey, participants were asked about their mental health experiences and were told to answer a series of standardized questions.

The survey revealed that one in 10 U.S. veterinarians may experience serious psychological distress during their life time.

More alarming is that one in six veterinarians have had suicidal thoughts following their veterinary school graduation. This is more than three times the national mean.

An average of one percent of those surveyed have actually attempted committing suicide. This number is significantly lower than the national mean.

Another interesting reveal from the survey was that nearly 37 percent of women and 25 percent of men have reported having some sort of depressive episode since graduating veterinary school.

Dr. Nett, epidemiologist for the Centers for Disease Control, revealed that the survey’s findings share similar results to those conducted in Australia, New Zealand, and the U.K.

The doctor attributes these increased mental disorders and suicidal thoughts to personality traits that most veterinarians share along with the added stress of their work environments.

(via AVMA)

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Share these findings with your pet’s veterinarian and let them know that their mental health is important to you. If you or someone you know having suicidal thoughts, please don’t hesitate to call the National Suicide Prevention Hotline at 1-800-273-8255.

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