“Rethinking Suicide” is Topic of Dr. Jeffrey A. Sutarik Wellness Lecture October 25

Friday, October 14, 2022

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A presentation about mental health in the veterinary profession, entitled “Rethinking Suicide,” will be given next week by a specialist in clinical psychology as part of a lecture series established in memory of a Purdue Veterinary Medicine alumnus.  The Dr. Jeffrey A. Sutarik Memorial Wellness Lecture will be held Tuesday morning, October 25, from 8:00 – 9:20 a.m. as part of a core course in the DVM curriculum.   The speaker, Dr. Craig J Bryan, PsyD, ABPP, is internationally recognized as an expert on suicide prevention, trauma and resilience.  In an effort to enhance the self-care and mindset of the veterinary community as a whole, the College of Veterinary Medicine will be livestreaming the lecture so that those outside PVM can attend virtually. 

Dr. Bryan is board-certified as a clinical psychologist in cognitive behavioral psychology. He is the Stress, Trauma, and Resilience (STAR) Professor of Psychiatry and Behavioral Health at The Ohio State University and the Division Director for Recovery and Resilience. Dr. Bryan’s research has been funded by the Department of Defense, the National Institutes of Health, and multiple foundations. He has published more than 250 scientific articles and multiple books including Brief Cognitive Behavioral Therapy for Suicide Prevention and Rethinking Suicide, and has received numerous awards and recognitions for his research. 

The Dr. Jeffrey A. Sutarik Memorial Wellness Lecture Series was established by Dr. Sutarik’s parents, Ed and Pat Sutarik, after the tragic passing of their son who ended his own life in 2019 at the age of 41.  Dr. Sutarik earned his Purdue DVM degree in 2005 and went into private practice in the Chicago suburb of Lombard, Illinois, where he was respected as a gifted, dedicated and caring veterinarian.  His passing inspired his parents to honor his memory through charity supporting the health and wellbeing of veterinary professionals.  Together, they created the Dr. Jeffrey A. Sutarik Memorial Wellness Lecture Series through a fund that also provides assistance to various student wellness initiatives.  The purpose of the lectureship is to bring in professional mental health speakers as well as alumni and friends to share their relatable stories of the importance of recognizing and staying in touch with one’s mental health.

In addition, Pat Sutarik founded the Make A Wag foundation, which continues Dr. Jeffrey Sutarik’s legacy of compassionate care by providing help for people 65 years and older who need assistance with veterinary care for their pets. Veterinarians all across the country can apply for support in the amount of $2,500 per year to assist this population. The Make A Wag foundation was one of the sponsors for the 2022 Purdue Veterinary Conference that was hosted by the College of Veterinary Medicine September 20-24.  As a result of her time visiting Purdue during the conference and touring the new David and Bonnie Brunner Purdue Veterinary Medical Hospital Complex, Pat shared her excitement about the beautiful new hospital facilities with her husband Ed, and together they decided to honor their son’s love of horses by placing his name on an equine stall.

The memory of Dr. Sutarik and the abundant generosity and caring of his parents reminds all veterinary professionals that as they strive to do whatever they can to help their patients, clients, and all animals, the compassion can run so deep, that they neglect to take time to care for themselves and their own wellbeing.

Members of the veterinary profession may use this link to watch the lecture:  https://tinyurl.com/currentissuesfall22.

Writer(s): Kevin Doerr | pvmnews@purdue.edu

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