TRIGGER WARNING- This episode contains references to and information about suicide which may be upsetting to some people. The purpose of the episode is to educate and bring awareness to the stigma around mental illness and provide resources but if you are not in a position to handle this discussion, please skip this episode.
If you are concerned about a friend or colleague, or if you are having thoughts of self-harm or suicide, please call the USA National Suicide Prevention Lifeline (1-800-273-8255), Canada Suicide Prevention Service (1-833-456-4566), or just dial 911.
You may also Text HOME to 741-741 to reach a volunteer Crisis Counselor. The crisis text line is also available via Whatsapp and FB messenger.
Today I am again joined by Dr. Marie Holowaychuk to continue our conversation regarding suicide awareness and prevention in veterinary medicine. We cover topics ranging from how to recognize someone who might be at risk of suicide to ways you can educate yourself about how to help someone in the midst of a crisis. We also touch on the correct and safe ways to discuss the matter of suicide with your team and friends.
About Dr. Holowaychuk
Dr. Marie Holowaychuk is a board-certified small animal emergency and critical care specialist and passionate advocate for veterinary team wellbeing. She lives in Calgary and travels worldwide as a speaker, consultant, and locum. Marie has spent more than 15 years practicing emergency and critical care medicine in academic and private referral hospital settings. She has been primary or co-author of more than 30 manuscripts published in peer-reviewed journals and is an Assistant Editor for the Journal of Veterinary Emergency and Critical Care. She is also co-editor of the Manual of Veterinary Transfusion Medicine and Blood Banking.
Outside of veterinary practice, Marie facilitates wellness workshops and retreats for veterinary clinics or organizations and offers individual or group wellbeing sessions for veterinary team members. Marie is a certified yoga and meditation teacher and has completed a mindfulness-based stress reduction course for professionals. She also has Compassion Fatigue Training from the University of Tennessee School of Social Work, as well as Mental Health First Aid Training from the Mental Health Commission of Canada and Applied Suicide Intervention Skills Training from the Centre for Suicide Prevention. Marie is a certified life coach and writes a monthly blog and e-newsletter on pertinent issues related to veterinary wellness. Recently Marie launched her own podcast Reviving Vet Med and has a YouTube channel that features monthly Wellness Wednesday videos.
When she is not working, Marie enjoys listening to podcasts, reading, hiking, and strength training, as well as spending time with her family and friends. For more information, please visit www.marieholowaychuk.com or follow Marie on Facebook, Twitter (@DrMHolowaychuk), LinkedIn, or Instagram.
Resources that we mentioned in the episode:
- QPR training FREE from the AVMA
- ASK training from VetFolio
- Applied Suicide Intervention Skills Training (ASIST) from Living Works
- Learn more about suicide from SAVE.org
- “If you are thinking about suicide, please utilize all resources available to you. Suicide Awareness Voices of Education (SAVE) has a website that is a helpful place to start. Aside from calling a crisis line, removing access to lethal means and talking to a loved one or someone else that you trust, SAVE recommends creating a safety plan. Having a safety plan in place during a time of emotional vulnerability or in crisis is one way to help manage your thoughts and feelings and a quick way to refer yourself to help. Use the link below for a safety plan template. Share your safety plan with your doctor(s), family, friends, or anyone else in your support network.”
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