Veterinarian Suicide Help

Vet Tech Suicide Awareness

To address the problem of veterinarian tech suicide, we first need to raise awareness that an issue even exists. Following the recent suicide of Dr. Shirley Koshi and Dr. Sophia Yin, the national spotlight directed itself toward suicide in the veterinarian tech industry. Suicide is the second leading cause of death for people between the ages of 15 to 29 years old. Every 40 seconds, another person takes their life. How does the veterinarian tech industry fare? To be honest, we have a grim picture painted that doesn't look great. We want to take care of our pets because this can cause emotional upheaval. 

What Do We See?

One of the reasons for awareness veterinary suicide month is that the problem has become so widespread. In fact, based on a survey that the CDC conducted, an estimated 6.8 percent of males suffer from mental illness, while 10.9 percent of females suffer from mental illness. Meanwhile, throughout their careers, 24.5 percent of males have reported experiencing a major depressive episode, while 36.7 percent of females reported going through major depressive episodes. 

Why Do Veterinarians Have This Problem?

According to Dr. Daniel Carey, the same traits like compassion and care that made veterinarian doctors good for the industry also makes them more susceptible to some of the dangers of depressive episodes. One of the common issues unique to the veterinarian industry is emotional bullying from pet owners. What happens is that when the pet owner doesn't have the money to diagnose and treat their pet, the problem often compounds itself and falls on the veterinarian. Many times, they will get angry that we can't perform the surgery for free, and the problem only compounds itself as they ask why we don't love their pet enough. It leads to depression and feelings of isolation that add up over time. 

Ending the Stigma

People have sometimes mistaken that if someone can't deal with their issues, there's something wrong with them. In truth, these problems often stem from mental issues, and we have to eliminate some of the myths before we can move forward with this great problem. Let's dispel some of the myths around suicide. 

Myth #1: Talking About It Makes It Worse

Some people believe that simply talking about suicide can lead to someone attempting it. Nothing could be further from the truth. If a person has been contemplating suicide, talking about it isn't going to cause them to do it. It's the sadness that they feel that leads to suicide. 

Myth #2: Once Someone Has Attempted, They Won't Try Again

Sadly, after someone has attempted suicide, they have a 40 percent higher likelihood of attempting it a second time at some point in the future. This is because they've often removed the mental barrier that would've stop them before. 

Myth #3: Males Die by Suicide More Than Females

This is partially a half-truth because while males have four times the likelihood of dying from suicide, females are four times as likely to attempt it as males. 

Myth #4: Pets Can Lower the Risk

While pets can prop a person up, they can also become a danger because when the pet dies, it can send someone through a big upheaval. In addition, no research has shown evidence to suggest that pets can lower the risk. 

Take Action

We must address the problem and raise awareness to help with this universal human trait. If you have problems with suicidal thoughts, you may want to call the veterinary suicide hotline. This helps to give confidential support to those individuals who feel like their lives are on the edge. If you know someone who struggles emotionally from their job, you could try to give them the help they need. You might try to regain your passion and the reason that you became a veterinarian technician. Think of the things that led you into the profession and what made it so enjoyable for you. Having these feelings of joy can eliminate the depressive emotions. 

One of the things that we have to realize about suicide is that depression can strike anyone. We can all turn to each other to unite under a common human struggle. Taking thoughtful appreciation of some of the challenges of this work can be a fun way of enlivening the experience so that you enjoy your work more. For those times when you feel low and down in the dumps, you can call veterinary suicide support to help you get through the problem.

Nicholas Barreiro