10thSeptember is World Suicide Prevention day
Studies published over the last few years show a higher suicide rate in veterinarians in the US, UK, Norway and Australia, compared to the general population. I suspect this statistic is not confined to just these countries and instead reflects where the research has taken place. We don’t fully understand all the reasons for the higher suicide rate in the profession but we do know it is multifactorial.
The World Health Organisation estimated there was an 18% increase in people suffering from depression between 2005 and 2015, with the latest estimate being about 300 million sufferers. Depression is recognised as one of the contributing factors to suicide.
There are many support groups out there, if you need them yourself or to point people to. However, the hardest initial step can be reaching out and feeling able to talk. It is easy to sit here and suggest to someone to seek help and speak to someone…it is much harder to do!
If you are worried a friend or colleague may be suffering, please speak to them, ask how they are…and wait for a reply. If they say fine, and you are still worried, mention you have noticed them having a hard time. Often they are used to saying `I’m fine`…even if they aren’t. Keep in touch with them – even if it’s a text to say `hi` and it is important not to judge.
For more information on World Suicide Prevention Day, visit the website:
And a couple of other websites:
Chair, FECAVA Mental Health & Wellbeing Working Group
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