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Journal Article

Citation

Karaffa K, Hancock T. J. Vet. Med. Educ. 2019; ePub(ePub): 1-10.

Copyright

(Copyright © 2019, Institute of Agriculture, University of Tennessee)

DOI

10.3138/jvme.1017-145r1

PMID

30806561

Abstract

The mental health and wellness of veterinary students is an important contemporary focus of scholarship. Yet, to date, little empirical work has investigated mental health experiences and rates of mental health service use in large samples of veterinary students from multiple institutions. The purpose of this study was to explore the prevalence of mental health concerns among veterinary medical students, as well as rates of mental health service utilization, using validated measures and a large sample. Study participants were 573 veterinary medical students currently enrolled in accredited veterinary medical programs in the United States. Approximately one third of participants reported levels of depression or anxiety above the clinical cut-off, and a strong positive correlation was found between the two. Depression and anxiety were also associated with prior engagement in non-suicidal self-injury (NSSI), suicidal ideation, and prior suicide attempts. Nearly 80% of participants who scored above the clinical cut-off for depression or anxiety reported seeking some form of mental health services currently or in the past, and a majority reported having positive experiences with services.

RESULTS also indicated a higher than typical rate of NSSI among veterinary medical students. Implications for outreach, research, and education are discussed.


Language: en

Keywords

NSSI; anxiety; depression; help seeking; mental health; non-suicidal self-injury; veterinary wellness

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