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Why suicide among Veterinarians is a growing problem

with Ciaran McAuley

"Vets burnout very quickly and the really frustrating thing is it's become normalised within the sector. It's very common for vets to talk about Spring burnout. Spring is a very busy time of the year for vets with floods of farm animals giving birth so it's just accepted that vets will burnout at this time of year..."

Hello and welcome to another HG podcast. I’m Jo Baker and I’m part of the HG team. Today I’m going to be talking to our expert Ciaran McAuley about the growing issue of suicide among Veterinarians.

Suicide and non-fatal suicidal behaviour are major public health problems across the world: approximately 1 million people worldwide die by suicide each year. The rate of suicide in the veterinary profession has been pegged as close to twice that of the dental profession, more than twice that of the medical profession, and 4 times the rate in the general population.

There are a number of factors contributing to the high level of mental health issues among people working in the veterinary sector. Several relate to the demands of the job itself, the long, often antisocial working hours, heavy workloads, poor work-life balance, sometimes difficult client relations and often feeling isolated, which we know are associated with higher rates of anxiety, depression, and suicide. The training itself is also incredibly demanding and requires a very high level of academic achievement yet isn’t designed to equip individuals with the skills and knowledge they need to stay well when working under challenging conditions.

Every life lost to suicide is a tragedy - explore our helpful links and resources below...

If you have been affected by issues discussed in this episode the following organisations can provide support information:


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Date posted: 13/04/2023