Economy

Overwhelming response to Insight’s episode on veterinarian crisis: ‘I had no idea this happened’

Vets are almost four times more likely to take their own lives than the general public. Source: Insight

This week's Insight episode discussed the mental ill health and overwhelming pressure many of Australia’s vets are facing. It sparked an outpouring of support towards vets from viewers, with many admitting they were unaware about just what was going on behind the closed doors of their local vet clinic.

On this week's Insight’s episode, Veterinary Care, veterinarians and vet nurses discussed the abuse they face from pet owners, the long hours, and the toll this all takes on their mental health.

One veterinarian, Margie Bale revealed how she was abused by an intoxicated pet owner after she finished treating a Maltese Terrier that had eaten an entire chicken. “Unfortunately the intoxicated man did actually grab me and push me up against a wall, grabbed me by the chest and then started to abuse me saying I'm only in it for the money and if I was a real vet I just would have done it for free to help him out.”

Margie’s story gained an overwhelming reaction from other vets and the general public with one person stating on Facebook:

“It is a very honorable profession and as necessary as human hospitals and deserve the same respect after all where would we be without our Vets who treat our fur babies...Respect for our Vets!”

Screenshot Insight Vet show
Facebook

The program revealed that vets are almost four times more likely to take their own lives than the general public.   The episode featured the story of a young vet who took her own life. Her colleague, Sarah Morton described what she was like as a person and explained the impact her death has had on her.

“We were always really close,” says Sarah. “But you can't not go through something like that and be so raw with one  another and see a level to each other that you don't really share with many people… But it's made me want to come here and talk because there's so much that we need to do as an industry to support people who want to go into this industry and help prepare them to be able to cope.”

Some viewers explained how unaware they were about the challenges vets face.

Comment screen shot Facebook
Facebook

Screenshot Insight Vet show
Facebook

Screenshot Insight Vet show
Facebook

Screenshot Insight Vet show
Facebook

Many viewers also expressed their gratitude towards the vets who look after their animals so well.

“Thank you to all the vets and vet nurses and all who work in vet clinics! My animals are so precious to me and you guys are truly wonderful in all the care you give! Just remember most people appreciate you there is always that small group who you can never please or satisfy! I'm a nurse I know! Thank you from the bottom of my heart for all your amazing support and help!”

Screenshot Insight Vet show
Facebook

Full episode of Veterinarian care is now streaming on SBS On Demand.

0:00
Vets are almost four times more likely to take their own lives than the general public. So, what’s really going on behind the closed doors of your local vet clinic? In the wake of two coronial inquests, veterinarians reveal why their job is pushing them to the brink. Full episode of Veterinarian care is now streaming on SBS On Demand.
Vets are almost four times more likely to take their own lives than the general public. So, what’s really going on behind the closed doors of your local vet clinic? In the wake of two coronial inquests, veterinarians reveal why their job is pushing them to the brink. Full episode of Veterinarian care is now streaming on SBS On Demand.

Readers seeking support and information about suicide prevention can contact Lifeline on 13 11 14, Suicide Call Back Service on 1300 659 467 or Beyond Blue on 1300 22 4636