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Mon, Sep 23, 2019 | Last Updated 2:33 pm IST

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People who work with animals faced with animal suffering and death routinely and mental health issues

People who work with animals faced with animal suffering and death routinely and mental health issues
People who work with animals faced with animal suffering and death routinely and mental health issues
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A study says while it might sound like fun to work around pets every day, veterinarians and people who volunteer at animal shelters face particular stressors that can place them at risk for depression, anxiety and even suicide. "People who work or volunteer with animals are often drawn to it because they see it as a personal calling. However, they are faced with animal suffering and death on a routine basis, which can lead to burnout, compassion fatigue and mental health issues," said angela K Fournier from Bemidji State University in the US. 

 People who work with animals faced with animal suffering and death routinely and mental health issues

Veterinarians in particular are at high risk for death by suicide, according to a study from the Journal of the American Veterinary Medical Association, which found that from 1979 to 2015, veterinarians died by suicide between two to 3.5 times more often than the general US population. While veterinarians who are dealing with mental health issues may exhibit symptoms common to all populations, such as sadness that interferes with daily activities or changes in appetite.

 


According to the researchers, increased medical errors, absenteeism, client complaints and spending too little or too much time at work are factors to watch for. The research team believes there needs to be a paradigm shift in veterinary training to better prepare veterinarians not only for the animal-related aspects of their jobs, but the human elements as well.


People who work with animals faced with animal suffering and death routinely and mental health issues
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