The University of Southampton has led a study investigating suicide trends among vets. The report revealed that vets are 4 times more likely to commit suicide than the average Briton, and twice as likely compared to other health professionals.
The study was led by David Bartram of the University’s School of Medicine and was published in the Veterinary Record. The report put the main reason of the high rated down to vets having to put animals down: “The veterinary profession’s role in providing animal euthanasia and so facilitating a ‘good death’, may normalise suicide, with death perceived as a rational solution to intractable problems.”
Other reasons put forwards in the report for the high rates included the access to lethal drugs and the knowledge to use them, long working hours with high psychological demands and common personality traits of vets being perfectionists and neurotic.
Professor Bill Reilley, head of the British Veterinary Association, believes that the research may curb the numbers of suicides and provide better support the vets that are struggling in the stressful environment.