Suicide Prevention

Suicide Prevention

Ours is a profession of healing…

One of my greatest joys as a veterinary professional is that moment when a “long-termer’s” IVC has been pulled, the leash placed around their neck and they walk up to meet their family. There’s that moment when you can almost see the transition in thought process from “I’m going for another walk…” to “Those are my people! They came for me! I’m going home!”

Ours is a profession of healing…

And yet, at the end of another 15 hour shift – a constant stream of unwell patients, emotional owners, repeated phone calls, pharmacy refills, an unexpected surgery, communication break-downs and the prospect of facing it again tomorrow – someone was forgotten.

Ours is a profession of healing…

But when I look into her reddened eyes over Toby’s lifeless form, I can’t feel anything. The tears will not come. It is not for a lack of sympathy at her loss, but from the overwhelming numbness inside. When I go home, the darkness creeps in. I wonder if anything I did or said throughout the day makes any lasting difference. I am so tired. Is it worth it?

Ours is a profession of healing…and yet, we have forgotten to heal ourselves.

Over the last decade, the veterinary profession has been increasingly grappling with the issue of SUICIDE within our ranks. Perhaps you have found this post because you are concerned about a co-worker or colleague; perhaps you yourself feel like there is no other answer to the constant pain. We work tirelessly to protect and sustain precious life…please remember that YOUR LIFE is just as precious.

If you are battling thoughts of suicide, please find a safe place (a location, a person) and find help. Below are a list of national, county and professional resources to help you toward a path of healing.

Emergency – Call 911

National Suicide Prevention Helpline – 1800-273-8255
https://suicidepreventionlifeline.org/

24 Hour Crisis Response and Services Access Line – (888) 868-1649

Crisis Text Service – Text “HEARME” to 839863

Ventura County Behavioral Health – https://vcbh.org/en/information-resources/suicide-prevention-resources

Santa Barbara County Department of Behavioral Wellness – https://www.countyofsb.org/behavioral-wellness/suicide-prevention.sbc

American Veterinary Medical Association – Get Help – https://www.avma.org/resources/wellbeing/get-help

Find a local psychologist – https://locator.apa.org/



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