One of the sad truths in the field of animal care is that veterinarians have a disproportionately high suicide rate.
According to a 2019 Time Magazine article (https://time.com/5670965/veterinarian-suicide-help/), nearly 400 veterinarians died by suicide between 1979 and 2015, with female veterinarians being more than 3.5% likely to kill themselves than the general population.
Similarly, military veterans have an excessively high suicide rate, with the US Department of Veterans Affairs estimating that nearly 20 veterans a day take their lives.
Because both groups have depression and mental health issues as common factors, Dr. Elizabeth Pritchett wanted to bring consciousness to their plight and give them a forum to talk about suicide. She created a fundraising and awareness event in which she joined forces with other local veterinarians to raise money for pet care vouchers for veterans.
Many veterans have pets for emotional support, but they are often on disability and have a fixed income. While they can usually afford the basic care for a pet, if an emergency arises, they have to choose between paying their utilities and saving their best friend. With the vouchers, the veterans won’t have to choose–they can treat their pet with the money coming from the Vets Helping Vets fund.
If you’d like to donate to Vets Helping Vets, contact us.
If you or someone you know may be contemplating suicide, call the National Suicide Prevention Lifeline at 1-800-273-8255 or text HOME to 741741 to reach the Crisis Text Line.
In emergencies, call 911, or seek care from a local hospital or mental health provider.