According to a 10 page report in Britain’s Veterinary Record; vets are twice as likely as other healthcare professionals and four times as likely as the general public, to commit suicide. Possible reasons for these unfortunate statistics include the effects of the rigorous undergraduate training, work-related stress, professional and social isolation, and alcohol or drug misuse.
This drug misuse involves mainly the prescription drugs to which a professional has ready access. The British Veterinary Association maintains a 24-hour Vet Helpline for vets, vet nurses, and veterinary students. The association’s member services group is looking into practical initiatives that can improve the vets’ daily lives.
Recently, they’ve introduced services which resolve issues between employees and employers. As a society, we seem to think that health care professionals are impervious to any kind of illness. So it’s nice to see one of the issues affecting them, getting the attention and action it demands.