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.