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New Research On Veterinary Suicide Rate Will Help Profession

14 years ago

26th March, 2010 00h00

Responding to a new paper in this week’s Veterinary Record by D J Bartram and D S Baldwin, which finds that veterinary surgeons are four times as likely as the general public, and around twice as likely as other healthcare professionals, to die by suicide as opposed to other causes, Professor Bill Reilly, President of the British Veterinary Association, said: “David Bartram’s research in this difficult area is to be applauded. The more we can understand about the reasons behind the high suicide rate amongst veterinary surgeons, the more the BVA and other bodies can do to support vets in crisis. “As part of the Vetlife Steering Group, the BVA supports fantastic initiatives such as the 24-hour Vet Helpline for vets, vet nurses and veterinary students, and the Veterinary Benevolent Fund. “The BVA’s Member Services Group (MSG) also spends a lot of time looking at practical initiatives to improve individual vets’ day-to day lives. The recent introduction of the mediation and representation services to help resolve issues between veterinary employees and veterinary employers is a good example of the positive ways in which the BVA can support its members in difficult situations. “The MSG also recently produced a helpline sticker for all veterinary practices to display on the medicines cabinet and other prominent places to act as a constant reminder that help is available. “Ours is a small profession and many vets will know a friend or colleague who has taken their own life. It is essential that this issue is kept in the open so that those who are struggling know where to turn for help.” Vet Helpline 07659 811118 is a 24-hour rapid-response answer phone, every day of the year, for veterinary surgeons, nurses and students. For further information, see

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