Mental Health Awareness Month Podcast: Suicide Awareness & Prevention

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May 27, 2020

Compassion-First Pet Hospitals is proud to offer a new podcast series promoting awareness and education about common mental health challenges in the veterinary industry.

In this podcast series Compassion-First Pet Hospitals VP of Veterinary Informatics, Dr. Elizabeth Lund, interviews veterinary counselor, Sarina Manifold, about three important topics: Compassion Fatigue, Suicide Awareness and Prevention, and Grief and Bereavement. The podcast series serves as a tool to inform listeners about each topic and then provide practical insights and solutions for any veterinary health professional.

In our third podcast, Dr. Lund and Sarina discuss suicide awareness and prevention in the veterinary industry.  According to the CDC, female veterinarians are 3.5 times more likely, and male veterinarians 2.1 times more likely to die from suicide when compared to the general population. There are many unique variables that contribute to suicidal thoughts that veterinary professionals have to manage that other healthcare workers may not such as – patients can’t communicate with them, euthanasia, criticism from pet parents about treatment and pricing since clients pay out of pocket and rising student loan debt. While there is never a single cause of suicide, the myriad of risk factors can add up. A survey of more than 11,000 U.S. veterinarians in 2014 found 9% had current serious psychological distress, 31% had experienced depressive episodes, and 17% had experienced suicidal ideation since leaving veterinary school.

The podcast discusses these unique problems and how suicide has become a problem in the veterinary industry.  Dr. Lund and Sarina also discuss what are some contributing factors to this unfortunate reality, suicidal signs to look for in yourself and in others, and how to address this with a co-worker or an employee.  The podcast also includes helpful tips and resources (linked below) for managing suicidal thoughts and reminds all veterinary professionals that you are not alone with combating these mental health issues.

Did you miss our Compassion Fatigue: Part 1 and Part 2 podcasts?  You can listen here.

About the speakers:

Elizabeth M. Lund, DVM, MPH, PhD
VP, Veterinary Informatics, Compassion-First Pet Hospitals

Dr. Lund is a companion animal epidemiologist with over 25 years of professional experience leveraging digital pet health data to generate evidence and insights for organizational strategy and success.  Over her career she has worked in diverse sectors of animal health, including private equine practice, academia, corporate veterinary practice and, public health.  In her current role at Compassion-First, Liz leads data-driven organizational initiatives that optimize patient outcomes, medical quality, and operational efficiency.  Most recent professional roles include President of DataDogs, LLC, a big data consulting company and Senior Director-Research for Banfield Pet Hospital, a division of Mars Petcare.

Sarina Manifold, LCSW
Owner at Authentic Healing Counseling, PLLC

Sarina is a Licensed Clinical Social Worker in TN and NC, and Adjunct Professor with the University of Tennessee College of Social Work. Sarina previously worked at the University of Tennessee College of Veterinary Medicine for 10 years as one of the clinical social workers who provided grief support and crisis intervention to clients of the Small and Large Animal Hospitals and members of the community, provided counseling to UTCVM students and House Officers, provided support and coaching to members of the UTCVM veterinary teams on issues of compassion fatigue, and oversaw the communication training for UTCVM’s veterinary medical students. She moved to NC in 2019 with her family and now owns a private mental health practice where she continues to provide Veterinary Social Work services. Specifically, she offers grief counseling for the loss of an animal, counseling to animal care professionals to help manage compassion fatigue and consultation to the community for animal-related issues. She graduated from High Point University in High Point, NC with a Bachelor’s Degree in Psychology, and received her Master’s Degree in Social Work from the University of Tennessee. In her free time, Sarina enjoys exercising (home workouts, running, and riding her road bike), reading, and spending time with her family and friends. Sarina’s fur-family members include their 16-year-old cat, Jasper and their 6-and-a-half-year-old Shepherd-mix, Finn.

You can contact Sarina by visiting her website -

Episode Resources

National Suicide Prevention Lifeline

  • 24/7 National Suicide Prevention Lifeline: 1-800-273-8255
  • Suicide Prevention Text Lifeline: Text “HOME” to 741741

American Foundation for Suicide Prevention

QPR Training

QPR Training Through AVMA

Banfield's ASK Program Available to All

AVMA Wellbeing Resources

How to find a Mobile Crisis Unit in your area: Google "Mobile crisis units in (name of your county or the county where the individual lives)"

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