Pet Influencers ‘Go Dark’ On Instagram For Veterinarian Suicide Awareness

Pet influencers on Instagram are doing their bit to help the people who help them.

According to Banfield Pet Hospital, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention recently shared a very sad statistic that one in six veterinarians consider suicide.

In response to this fact, Banfield Pet Hospital who is “a firm believer that in order to create a better world for pets, we need to create a better world for those who care for them,” created “ASK — Assess, Support, Know,” which is a suicide prevention training resource. ASK is free to all veterinary professionals, as well as veterinary school students, and it is designed to help address “emotional distress and suicidal thoughts”

In support of this effort, as well as a way to honor vets everywhere, six pet influencers went “dark” on January 6th.

View this post on Instagram

Friends – did you know that according to the CDC, 1 in 6 veterinarians considers suicide? We absolutely love our veterinarian, who has been keeping us healthy and able to live our best lives for the last 6 years. We want ALL our veterinarians to know they are loved and supported. That’s why we are honored to be working with @BanfieldPetHospital to help make a better world for pets by making a better world for the people who care for them. Today, Banfield Pet Hospital is making its “ASK – Assess, Support, Know” suicide prevention training available as a free resource for all veterinary professionals and veterinary school students to help them recognize and address emotional distress and suicidal thoughts. To honor our veterinarians and help raise awareness for this important issue, we will be going dark for the rest of the day. You can learn more about Banfield’s “ASK” training at www.ASKAssessSupportKnow.com ❤ #ad

A post shared by Ralph the Corgi (@ralphthecorgi) on Jan 6, 2020 at 6:11am PST

Dogs of Instagram, Kelly BoveRalph the CorgiHi WileyDr. Lisa Lippman, and Albert on Wheels all made the announcement Monday that they were going dark the rest of the day as a united effort of solidarity to demonstrate “support for the veterinary professionals who give so much of themselves to our pets.”

View this post on Instagram

“Did you know that according to the CDC 1 in 6 veterinarians considers suicide due to serious psychological distress? When I chose my job I knew I had to work for a company that is cognizant of this- the more we talk about this serious issue that plagues our profession, the closer we come to making sure that those who spend their lives caring for our animals stay safe. The veterinary field is full of committed, passionate animal lovers, and while so many think our job is all puppy kisses and kitten snuggles, the reality is that veterinarians are subject to an incredible amount of stress, caused by emotional, financial, and job-related stressors. And some of us don’t make it. That’s why I’m honored to share with you a new training program “ASK” (Assess, Support, Know), brought to you by @banfieldpethospital. ASK is available as a free resource for all veterinary professionals and veterinary school students to help them recognize and address emotional distress and suicidal thoughts. Whether it’s joining us in sharing this image or reaching out to your veterinary team to express your appreciation – let’s unite and show our support for the veterinary professionals who give so much of themselves to our pets. To honor my veterinary colleagues, I will be going dark for the rest of today (1/6).” writes @drlisalippman // 🐶 @ellabeanthedog Learn more about ASK at wwww.ASKAssessSupportKnow.com

A post shared by DogsOf (@dogsofinstagram) on Jan 6, 2020 at 9:59am PST

Dogs of Instagram, who has over 4.6 million followers, wrote along with their announcement on Monday, “The veterinary field is full of committed, passionate animal lovers, and while so many think our job is all puppy kisses and kitten snuggles, the reality is that veterinarians are subject to an incredible amount of stress, caused by emotional, financial, and job-related stressors.”

Along with going dark, the pet influencers also encouraged all animal lovers to get involved as well by learning more about ASK, and by showing their appreciation for their own pets’ vets.

If you or someone you know is considering suicide, please reach out to the National Suicide Prevention Lifeline at 1-800-273-TALK (8255), text “STRENGTH” to the Crisis Text Line at 741-741 or visit the site suicidepreventionlifeline.org.

You can also show your support via social media by downloading this linked image and posting it online alongside a message on why your vet matters. Tag @BanfieldPetHospital in your post too.

Anastasia is an American writer and journalist living in Dublin, Ireland. Her Twitter is @AnastasiaArell5.

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