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When individuals enter the veterinary field, they discover early the profession comes with hardship and daily challenges. Additionally, it is no secret to those within the profession that the veterinary community faces a serious problem with suicide. Whether the discussion has become more prevalent from increased social media coverage or a true increase in suicide rates, the community is painfully aware of how many veterinarians take their lives every year. Between the years of 2003 and 2014, data shows a total of 202 veterinary professional deaths from suicide or of undetermined intent (Witte et al., 2019). The purpose of this literature review is to explore the rising rates of veterinary suicide and the many causes that may lead to suicide amongst veterinary professionals. Factors frequently studied and thought to contribute to veterinary professional suicide include self-stigma and social stigma in seeking psychological help or suffering from anxiety, depression, or burnout. The goal of this review is to educate mental health professionals on the importance and increased need for support in the veterinary community.
Keywords: veterinarian, veterinary student, suicide, mental health, stigma