One in six veterinarians considers suicide, and one in 10 suffers from severe psychological distress. Timed with National Suicide Prevention Awareness Month, Vancouver-based Banfield Pet Hospital recently announced “ASK” (Assess, Support, Know). The first of its kind, Banfield designed ASK specifically for veterinary professionals to help them recognize and address emotional distress and suicidal thoughts in themselves and others. In observance of the 1-in-6 statistic, Banfield also announced plans to do the following by January 6, 2020:
- Close schedules at all 1,000+ Banfield hospitals nationwide for two hours to facilitate an interactive mental health and wellbeing training for its more than 19,000 hospital associates
- Make the ASK training available as a free resource for the entire veterinary profession
- Share the ASK training as a free resource with all U.S. veterinary colleges
In total, Banfield will invest more than $3 million in mental health resources and tools like ASK by the end of 2020.