The announcement comes after the release of a joint, longitudinal study from the AVMA and the Centers for Disease Control (CDC) that found that veterinary professionals are more than twice as likely to die from suicide than the general population. The results of the study, conducted over a 36-year period between 1979 and 2015, indicate that, when compared to the general population, male veterinarians are 2.1 as likely to die by suicide while female veterinarians are 3.5 times as likely.
Among the steps being taken by the AVMA to reduce the risk of suicide among veterinary practitioners is the development of new resources to help veterinary professionals identify and support colleagues who may be at risk as well as the promotion of existing resources. One such program, known as Question, Persuade, Refer (QPR) Training, is designed to help individuals identify signs that someone may be contemplating suicide and to help them initiate a dialogue that can then be used to refer that person to a qualified mental health professional. The one-hour QPR Training is currently available, free of charge, to all AVMA members.
“Too many of our colleagues have either contemplated, attempted or died by suicide. And one suicide, is clearly too many. Working with our colleagues throughout the veterinary community will help us find solutions more quickly. This issue is affecting not only our profession, but society as a whole, in numbers greater than ever before.”
— John de Jong, President, AVMA
For more information about the steps the AVMA’s is taking to combat suicide among veterinary professionals, read the full story.