The number of veterinarians committing suicide each year is staggering: The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention reports that veterinarians are more likely to die by suicide than the general population. Male veterinarians are 2.1 times more likely, and female vets are 3.5 times more likely, to take their own lives than the general population.
Not One More Vet is an online organization that is working to prevent veterinarian suicides. It offers veterinarians support and a sounding board for the stresses of their job in a safe and supportive environment. The page currently has over 20,000 members; the organization behind it doesn't seek to diagnose, but to offer a shoulder and an ear—and maybe a bit of advice.
The financial pressures of paying back student loans and the emotional strain of the job can make veterinarians feel helpless and hopeless. Practicing vets can also feel socially isolated by the long, demanding hours of their job and the often-minimal time off.
Many vets have been the target of misplaced anger over an injured or terminally ill animal; cyberbullying has also escalated in recent years, making vets feel even more vulnerable.
Access to medications the general public does not have access to can also play into vets taking their own lives; vets who commit suicide are 2.5 times more likely to have used pharmaceuticals than the general population.
Find the Not One More Vet Facebook page here.
Not One More Vet also has a mental health and wellness blog, which can be found here.
Read more at NPR.
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