The Epidemic of Suicide

Leilani Colon, Reporter

As suicide rates are increasing year by year, the reasons that contribute and the stories behind the abrupt loss of someone who commits suicide continue to vary as well as expand in reasoning. A study analyzed by the Journal of the American Veterinary Medical Association brought awareness to the issue when they discovered that veterinarians have a 3.5x higher chance to die compared to those who are a part of the general population. Within the span of 34 years, from 1979 to 2015, studies have shown that 400 of the 11,600 deaths of veterinarians are due to the act of suicide, with more males committing it and 10% of women contributing to the overall percentage of deaths that were suicidal. As veterinarians are more likely to experience mental damaging existences like depression, anxiety, and burnout in their field of work, they are more exposed and open to the idea of suicide. Scientists have reported that “long work hours, work overload, practice management responsibilities, client expectations and complaints, euthanasia procedures, and poor work-life balance” are axioms that build up to their decision of suicide. It was also mentioned that due to their job, there is a chance that they may be emotionally attached to their subject, especially since they’re working with animals. In times when they have to put an animal down, the “high rates of suicide are perhaps in part due to the emotional demands involved in that line of work.” While it is tragic that suicide is even contemplated in the first place, due to these observations and the studies took, “identifying these groups allows officials to better target their suicide prevention and outreach efforts, which can be effective at reversing or reducing suicidal thoughts and behaviors.” By discussing suicide, while it considered taboo, it’s safer to evaluate why people are deciding to go through with such a sudden action that is very well fatal, rather than question why after they’re already gone.