SCHAUMBURG, Ill., Dec. 21, 2018 /PRNewswire/ -- The American Veterinary Medical Association (AVMA) participated with theCenters for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) in researching Suicide among veterinarians in the United States from 1979 through 2015. The study, published in the Journal of the American Veterinary Medical Association,
Every profession has unique challenges and stressors that must be addressed. Just as veterinarians are passionate about their profession and dedicated to improving the health and welfare of people and animals, the AVMA is committed to the health and wellbeing of their members. Prior to the release of this and other studies, the AVMA, and a broad coalition of partners from industry, state and allied veterinary medical associations (VMAE), academia (American Association of Veterinary Medical Colleges), representatives of private and corporate practices, the North American Veterinary Technicians Association (NAVTA), practice managers, the Veterinary Information Network (VIN), independent veterinary communities and others, joined together to tackle this issue.
"Too many of our colleagues have either contemplated, attempted or died by suicide," said Dr. John de Jong, AVMA President. "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."
In addition to their partners within veterinary medicine, the AVMA is working closely with the American Foundation for Suicide Prevention and other suicidology experts.
"As medical professionals we need to understand and learn about the clinical signs associated with suicide and work with other medical professionals to confront and combat this serious problem," Dr. de Jong said.
The AVMA and partners are creating and developing resources, not only for those in distress, but for those who love and want to help those who are suffering. A key program available to help veterinarians identify and refer at risk colleagues, is QPR (Question, Persuade, Refer) training. The AVMA offers this one-hour, online 'gatekeeper training' free of charge to every member and veterinary student. It teaches people without professional mental health backgrounds to recognize the signs that someone may be considering suicide and helps them to establish a dialogue.
"Often times, people may suspect someone is suffering but they don't know what to say, or they worry that what they say may make the situation worse," said Dr. Brandt. "It is my goal to have every veterinarian complete the QPR training. It provides guidance on what to say and ways in which you can enhance a sense of belonging and help alleviate the sense of fear that some may have about being a burden to their friends, family or colleagues."
Programs and tools available to tackle specific stressors include:
"This truly is a profession-wide concern," Dr. de Jong said. "We know that we don't have all of the answers but there is strength and hope in such a strong industry-wide collaboration."
For more information visit avma.org.
The AVMA, founded in 1863, is one of the oldest and largest veterinary medical organizations in the world. More than 93,000 member veterinarians worldwide are engaged in a wide variety of professional activities. Visit www.avma.org for more information.
Sharon Curtis GranskogCell: email@example.com
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SOURCE American Veterinary Medical Association
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