Today—September 10, 2019—is World Suicide Prevention Day and the AVMA has produced a series of videos to address this important topic. Each video is approximately one and-a-half minutes long and focuses on one of three critical aspects of the suicide discussion:
We shared the first installment - “What should you do if someone tells you they’re thinking about suicide?” on our social media channels today. In the video, Dr. Jen Brandt, AVMA’s director of wellbeing and diversity initiatives, discusses steps you can take to help a friend or colleague who has told you they’re considering suicide. Whether the comment is direct (i.e., “I’m thinking about suicide”) or indirect (i.e., “The world would be a better place without me.”), Dr. Brandt emphasizes the importance of listening in a non-judgmental way. She also addresses different courses of action depending on whether you feel the person is, or isn’t, in imminent danger. Watch it here:
We’ll be sharing the remaining videos throughout September in observance of Suicide Prevention Awareness Month. We encourage you to follow our social media channels—Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, and LinkedIn—to see the full series and keep up with other wellbeing and suicide-prevention resources, which we’ll be posting throughout the month, and are always available in the wellbeing section of our website.
Sign up for suicide prevention training
Another way you can participate in Suicide Prevention Awareness Month is by taking AVMA’s free QPR Suicide Prevention Training. The one-hour training is conducted entirely online and is free for AVMA and Student AVMA (SAVMA) members. It teaches people without professional mental health backgrounds to recognize the signs that a friend or colleague may be considering suicide, and offers simple, effective questions to guide them to seek professional help. You can learn more about the training in this video.
Workplace Wellbeing Certificate Program
Suicide prevention is one critical part of veterinary wellbeing. Another is working in a healthy and supportive environment. AVMA’s Workplace Wellbeing Certificate Program teaches the whole veterinary team crucial skills to support a culture of wellbeing in the workplace. The program consists of five modules focused on different elements of workplace wellbeing: effective feedback, healthy conflict resolution, diversity, inclusion, and suicide prevention. It’s available through AVMA Axon and is open to all veterinary professionals. The program is free for AVMA members.
Veterinary wellbeing is a key focus of the AVMA, and we’re committed to helping all veterinary professionals live their happiest and healthiest lives. Suicide Prevention Awareness Month offers an opportunity for us to highlight the importance of wellbeing in the veterinary profession, and to remind you of the many resources we have that can help. Visit avma.org/wellbeing this month, and throughout the year, to discover and use them all.