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With this podcast, I truly hope to reach and improve the lives of veterinarians and other professionals in the industry. Today I am talking with Cheyenne Williams, who has worked in Vet Med for 11 years. Cheyenne shares her touching and personal story that connects her to her work with the American Foundation for Suicide Prevention.

In 2016 Cheyenne lost her mother to suicide, she found herself navigating and coping and finding resources for her younger brothers but it was not until 2019 at an American Foundation for Suicide Prevention event, Out of the Darkness Walk, that she found an emotional but special connection and space. She soon became a board member of this foundation and works to promote and spread awareness of these resources.

Are you a veterinarian clinic owner or hospital manager who may have concerns about your staff members? Do you want to be educated so you can know if your co-workers are suffering? The American Foundation for Suicide Prevention website provides a thoughtful list of risks and warnings.

Risk Factors


Mental health: Depression, substance use, bipolar disorder, schizophrenia, personality traits of aggression, mood changes or poor relationships, conduct, anxiety

Physical health: Unbearable pain, Traumatic Brain Injury


Access to lethal means: firearms and drugs
Prolonged stress: harassment, bullying, relationship problems, or unemployment
Stressful life events: rejection, divorce, financial crisis, life transitions or loss
Exposure to other suicides or graphic accounts of suicides


Previous attempts, family history, child abuse, neglect, or trauma

Protective Factors

Access to mental health care, proactivity with mental health care, connection to family, community support, problem-solving and coping skills, limited access to lethal means, cultural and religious beliefs that encourage connecting and help-seeking, discourage suicidal behaviors or encourage a strong sense of personal self-esteem

Warning Signs

Talk: speaking about suicide, stated they feel hopeless, feel trapped, or have unbearable pain

Behavior: increased use of alcohol or drugs, looking for ways to end their life, withdrawal from activities, isolation from family and friends, sleeping too much or too little calling friends and family to say goodbye, giving away prized possessions, aggression, fatigue

Mood: depression, anxiety, loss of interest, irritability, humiliation, shame, agitation, anger, relief, sudden improvement

Do you feel stuck? Burned Out? Role isn’t right? Cheyenne’s side hustle turned full-time business, Shiney Day Specialized Pet Care offers a unique insight into other options. She transitioned from a busy hospital and on-call schedule to her work with pets needing medical support beyond the hospital via medications or fluids. No matter what you’re doing, Cheyenne says, personal boundaries are important because whether you’re in a hospital setting or working in your own business you can still get burned out.

The American Foundation for Suicide Prevention is an incredible resource if you are personally suffering or find yourself with someone suffering from suicidal thoughts. Reach out to the suicide crisis line by calling or texting to 988; text TALK to 741741, or call 911. If possible stay with the individual, remove lethal means and get them to the nearest medical facility or emergency room.

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What’s Inside

  • Resources and support from The American Foundation for Suicide Prevention.
  • Risk factors and warnings for Suicide.
  • Protective factors against suicide
  • What to do if you or you know is considering suicide.
  • How side hustle options could provide the right transition in your career.

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About Crystal Stokes
About Crystal Stokes
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