A UK study found that veterinarians had a 4 times higher risk of suicide than the general population, and twice that of other health care professionals. Veterinary anthropological research into the social and work related influences and stressors leading to this increased risk are vital to developing suicide prevention strategies.
“Possible factors include the characteristics of individuals entering the profession, negative effects during undergraduate training, work-related stressors, ready access to and knowledge of means, stigma associated with mental illness, professional and social isolation, and alcohol or drug misuse (mainly prescription drugs to which the profession has ready access). Contextual effects such as attitudes to death and euthanasia, formed through the profession’s routine involvement with euthanasia of companion animals and slaughter of farm animals, and suicide ‘contagion’ due to direct or indirect exposure to suicide of peers within this small profession are other possible influences.”
Download the paper here: Veterinary suicide in the UK