May is Mental Health Awareness Month. The psychological impact that economic euthanasia has on veterinary staff and students is extremely detrimental. In fact, in a recent blog about the veterinary field, we shared a quote by journalist, Colleen Cottke which reads, “according to American Medical Veterinary Association (AMVA) statistics, 1 in 6 veterinarians have contemplated suicide. In a report released last year by the AMVA in partnership with Merck Animal Health, veterinarians are 2.7 times more likely than the general public to die by suicide.”
Our mission stresses the importance of keeping families together, though there’s another major underlying goal: the mental health of veterinary professionals. Our founder, Dr. Rand Wachsstock, knows this situation all too well after working in the veterinary field for over 38 years. He has seen the way it breaks families, but also how it negatively impacts the staff who not only want to help but have the skills to help, though the financial component prevents this. While we will continue to share our mission and work with our veterinary partners to keep families together while supporting their staff, we recognize that within this field, that isn’t always enough.
Today we share 5 resources for veterinary professionals which support mental health:
1. Not One More Vet
“Not One More Vet provides the necessary support to all members of veterinary teams and students who are struggling or considering suicide. Because you are good enough, and you are never alone.”
2. Veterinary Mental Health Initiative
Veterinary Mental Health Initiative is “deeply honored to serve all veterinarians and veterinary technicians who seek our support services, especially those from underserved minority communities with regards to ethnicity, race, religion and spirituality, age, sexual orientation, and/or disability…With our support groups and one-to-one services, VMHI provides an empathetic and supportive space to foster well-being and resilience in the veterinary profession.” For more information, please visit: https://www.shanti.org/programs-services/veterinary-mental-health-initiative/
3. Assess your wellbeing by American Veterinary Medical Association
“Start your journey to improved wellbeing with the Professional Quality of Life (ProQOL) assessment. This test helps you measure your current balance of positive and negative personal and work-related experiences. Use the results as a starting point to create a self-care plan and pinpoint areas to incorporate health and wellbeing improvements into your life.”
(Source: American Veterinary Medical Association.)
4. When Helping Hurts: Compassion Fatigue in the Veterinary Profession
Published by Kathleen Ayl, PsyD. “Compassion fatigue comes with the territory in a career based on care. Avoid burnout and increase job satisfaction with a book tailored to the emotional challenges of vet professionals.” You can purchase this book by clicking here.
5. The National Suicide Prevention Lifeline
The National Suicide Prevention Lifeline is a national network of local crisis centers that provides free and confidential emotional support to people in suicidal crisis or emotional distress 24 hours a day, 7 days a week in the United States. You can call 1-800-273-8255 or visit https://suicidepreventionlifeline.org/
New to our page? Compassion Animal Project is a nationwide, donor-funded, 501(c)(3) non-profit organization that provides financial assistance for life-saving treatments for pets and helps keep families together. Be sure to follow along with us by clicking the links below!