September 10th is Suicide Prevention Day.


Troubled Veterinarian

This Suicide Prevention Day we want to make sure we address an incredibly important movement: Not One More Vet.

What started as an online forum has grown into a nonprofit organization working to provide education, support,and resources for veterinary professionals around the world. This movement aims to lose Not One More Vet to suicide.

An uptick in animal ownership during the pandemic, coupled with labour shortages, has led to greater stress on the veterinary field than ever before.An American Pet Products Association study reported that 11.38 million U.S.households have gotten a new pet during the pandemic. Hospitals are overbooked. Staff are staying late. New clients are turned away, and current clients are increasingly upset with their inability to get timely appointments. With this unprecedented new era of veterinary medicine, mental wellness is of utmost importance. Multiple studies conducted on the veterinary industry have come to the same conclusion: veterinarians are at a greater risk for suicide than the general population.

A 2019 study published in the Journal of the American Veterinary Medical Association concluded that male veterinarians are twice as likely to commit suicide than the general population, and female veterinarians are 3.5 times more likely. Research published by the Ontario Veterinary College in 2020 followed the same trend. 26.2% of Canadian veterinarians had thought of suicide in the previous 12 months, making them more than twice as likely to commit suicide than the general population.What are the warning signs that someone I know may be suicidal? The American Foundation for Suicide Prevention advises looking out for new or changed behaviors and provides the following list of warning signs. Most people who take their own lives exhibit at least one of the following:


If a person talks about:

  • Killing themselves
  • Feeling hopeless
  • Having no reason to live
  • Being a burden to others
  • Feeling trapped
  • Unbearable pain


  • Increased use of alcohol or drugs
  • Looking for a way to end their lives,
  • such as searching online for methods
  • Withdrawing from activities
  • Isolating from family and friends
  • Sleeping too much or too little
  • Visiting or calling people to say goodbye
  • Giving away prized possessions
  • Aggression
  • Fatigue


  • Depression
  • Anxiety
  • Loss of interest
  • Irritability
  • Humiliation/Shame
  • Agitation/Anger
  • Relief/Sudden Improvement

Who do I contact if I or someone I know is feeling suicidal?

The Not One More Vet page provides a list of suicide hotlines by country: The Canadian Association for Suicide Prevention has a helpful Suicide and Life Promotion dropdown that you can explore per situation. Utilizing the “I’m Having Thoughts of Suicide” option will direct you to a page with guidance towards finding your local crisis center. The “I’m Concerned About Someone” option directs you to a page that guides you toward navigating this difficult situation.


Andreassi, J. (2021, July 27). Veterinarians impacted by pandemic, labor shortage. Observer – Reporter. https://


Beasley, P. (2021, August 12). The new normal with COVID, DOG ownership, and PET Professionals. Columbia Star.

Croteau, J. (2021, May 12). Veterinarians more than twice as likely to have suicidal thoughts than other Canadians:

Study. Global News.