A researcher published an article Thursday that attempts to explain why veterinarians in Britain appear to be four times as likely as the general public to commit suicide. "There's no doubt that the suicide rate among veterinarians is elevated relative to the general population," said Dr. David Bartram, a Ph.D. student in mental health at the School of Medicine, University of Southampton.
"What isn't certain is why."
The numbers are startling, with the rate "far and away the highest suicide rate of any other occupational group," Bartram said. In absolute terms, that means five or six of Britain's 16,000 veterinarians kill themselves in any given year, he said.
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