Walking All Night for Animal Care Professionals
Walking all night for....
Pictured: Dr. Sophia Yin, Dr. Dawn Sylvia-Stasiewicz, and Dr. Shirley Sara Koshi.
Not pictured: Dr. Sheena Hruby and all the other animal care professionals taken by suicide.
Till the dawn...
Tomorrow night I will be up all night, walking. One step in front of the other, to fight for a cause no one wants to talk about. One step in front of another through the darkness that surrounds a topic that touches everyone yet forces people to hide their pain. Each step, from dusk till dawn, carrying the memory of those lost, and holding on to strength for those who suffer in silence. Walking through the streets of Boston, watching for a dawn not just to break the darkness of the night, but a dawn on a day when no one has to suffer alone. I've been there, staring off into the darkness, wondering when it will consume me. But there can always be a dawn if we are there for each other and getting help isn't stigmatized.
What is the Overnight Walk?
Why Animal Care Professionals?
Veterinarians are four times as likely to commit suicide than the average person; twice as likely as their human healthcare counterparts... We don't have statistics for other animal care professionals such as dog trainers and rescuers. But what we do know is that people who work with animals, care and feel deeply and are likely similarly affected by depression and other mental illness symptoms.
Every animal care professional touches so many lives. They give all of their heart and soul to support animals and their owners. We need to help hold these individuals up and give them the strength and support that they give to us and our pets. We need to remind them they are not alone.
How can I help?
Be a voice for change - Make mental health and suicide a safe topic.