Pets are doing their part to help the people who help them.
According to Banfield Pet Hospital, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention recently shared a troubling statistic: one in six veterinarians consider suicide.
In response to this harrowing find, Banfield Pet Hospital — “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” a suicide prevention training resource. ASK is free for all veterinary professionals and veterinary school students, and is designed to help these groups address “emotional distress and suicidal thoughts”
In support of this effort, and to honor veterinarians everywhere, six pet influencers announced they are going to “go dark” for Jan. 6.
Dogs of Instagram, Kelly Bove, Ralph the Corgi, Hi Wiley, Dr. Lisa Lippman, and Albert on Wheels all announced on Monday that they are going dark for the rest of the day as an united effort to show “support for the veterinary professionals who give so much of themselves to our pets.”
“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,” Dogs of Instagram, an account with over 4.6 million followers, wrote along with their announcement on Monday.
Along with sharing why they are going dark, the pet influencers involved also encouraged all animal lovers to get involved too, by learning more about ASK and by sharing their appreciation for their own vets.
If you or someone you know is considering suicide, please contact the National Suicide Prevention Lifeline at 1-800-273-TALK (8255), text “STRENGTH” to the Crisis Text Line at 741-741 or go to suicidepreventionlifeline.org.
You can show your support on social media as well by downloading this linked image and posting it online with a message on why your vet matters and tagging @BanfieldPetHospital in the post.