Veterinarians face unique job challenges. Their patients can’t speak or tell them what’s wrong. They often have to euthanize a patient with a treatable injury or illness because its caretaker can’t afford the remedy. Over time, these and other stressors weigh heavily on vets.
Job challenges among the more than 70,000 veterinarians have led to disproportionately high suicide rates, according to the U.S. Centers of Control and Prevention. Nearly 400 veterinarians died by suicide between 1979 and 2015, the CDC said.
Graduate students in Dr. Meagan McBride’s Counseling in a Global Society course have undertaken a project to provide resources to local and area vets who are struggling with mental health concerns. The resources, when completed, be provided to local vet offices and shared digitally with Not One More Vet, a leading organization in veterinary mental health and wellness within the profession.
The project is an offshoot of Meagan’s efforts to bring in interdisciplinary professionals and providers in the community to cover pertinent topics for future mental health providers.
“With the number of veterinarians and vet techs affected by suicide on the rise, the organization Not One More Vet was established to provide support, education, and resources to help meet the needs of those in crisis,” Meagan explained.
She partnered with Dr. Emily Hermiller, DVM, of Animal Hospital of Tiffin LLC to learn more about these challenges faced by veterinarians as well as the Not One More Vet initiative.
As part of their preparation, students viewed an interview that Meagan conducted with Dr. Hermiller. After viewing this material and materials on grief and loss, students in the course will build a tangible resource that can be provided to veterinarians struggling with mental health concerns or for veterinarian offices to share with clients who are experiencing loss & grief of their animal.