Mental and emotional health resource list for veterinary teams

Mental and emotional health resource list for veterinary teams

Need help with your burden—or know someone who does? Start with this list.
Apr 22, 2015
By staff

Once you’ve made the decision to get help, where do you turn? How do you approach a coworker if you see warning signs? This list is a starting point, providing both general and veterinary-specific resources for dealing with burnout, depression, compassion fatigue and suicidal thoughts.

Veterinary-specific resources

Suicide awareness in veterinary medicine: Should we be alarmed?
This free webinar from VetGirl discusses the growing concern of suicide in veterinary medicine.

Compassion fatigue workshops for veterinary HR teams and managers
Katherine Dobbs, RVT, CVPM, PHR, speaks at veterinary conferences and local meetings in addition to providing consulting work and workshops on compassion fatigue for the veterinary team.

Compassion Fatigue in the Animal-Care Community
Written by Charles R. Figley, PhD, and Robert G. Roop, PhD, this book examines the causes of compassion fatigue and offers help for fighting it.

When Helping Hurts: Compassion Fatigue in the Veterinary Profession
This book, published by the American Animal Hospital Association, offers veterinarians and their teams tips for recognizing compassion fatigue and provides strategies for how to deal with it.

University of Tennessee veterinary social work program
The University of Tennessee veterinary social work program provides resources and insights on grief and pet loss, animal-assisted interactions, the link between human and animal violence, and compassion fatigue and conflict management.

AVMA reading list: Work-life balance
This list offers resources that can help establish and maintain a good work-life balance.

AVMA stress checklist
This self-check guide suggests ways  to lower stress and reduce your chances for health problems.


National associations

American Foundation for Suicide Prevention (AFSP)

The AFSP is made up of scientists, survivors of suicide loss, people with mental disorders and their families, and a network of business and community members dedicated to understanding and preventing suicide through education, research and advocacy. The group organizes events across the nation each year.
> How to talk to someone struggling with depression and anxiety
> FAQs about suicide

National Suicide Prevention Lifeline
The National Suicide Prevention Lifeline is a 24/7, confidential, toll-free suicide prevention hotline for anyone in emotional distress or suicidal crisis. It works with a network of more than 150 local crisis centers that provide mental health referrals and counseling day and night. The Lifeline site provides crisis center locations and information about getting help.
> 1-800-273-TALK (8255)
> Safety plan
> More information about mental health conditions

Job burnout: How to spot it and take action
The Mayo Clinic offers signs and symptoms of work related burnout, and how to combat them.


State-specific resources

This list will be updated as more information becomes available.

> Alabama Veterinary Professionals Wellness Program

> Concerned Colorado Veterinarians
> Peer Assistance Services
> Laurie E. Fonken, PhD, LPC, is a private-practice therapist who works with practicing veterinarians, along with their team members and family members. Email: [email protected]. Phone: (970) 988-3894.

> HAVEN: Health Assistance InterVention Education Network

> Barbara Welsch, DVM and licensed psychologist, is part of the University of Florida Student Health Care Center. Email: [email protected]

> Georgia Veterinary Medical Association Wellness Committee: Confidential assistance is available 24 hours a day by calling Dr. Bill Disque at (912) 638-9325.

> Indiana Veterinary Medial Association Health and Wellness Committee: Chair—Dr. John Schnarr

> Massachusetts Veterinary Medical Association: Mental health resources

> The Michigan Veterinary Medical Association has a newly formed Wellness Task Force, which will have its first meeting on May 15.
> Michigan Health Professional Recovery Program

New Hampshire
> New Hampshire Veterinary Medical Association Wellness Committee: Dr. George Messenger

New Mexico
> New Mexico Veterinary Medical Association P.A.W.S. Program (Peer Assistance and Wellness Support)

North Carolina
> Jeannine Moga, MA, MSW, LCSW, Family and Community Services, College of Veterinary Medicine, North Carolina State University, offers training, consultation and referral services for issues related to compassion fatigue as well as personal and professional health and wellness. Outpatient therapy or counseling is not available.

> The College of Veterinary Medicine at Ohio State University can make referrals for practicing veterinarians but only offers in-house support to current DVM students.

> Oregon Veterinary Medical Association: Recognizing and Managing Compassion Fatigue
> Oregon Veterinary Medical Association: Stress Management Tips

> University of Tennessee Veterinary Social Work program

> Texas Veterinary Medical Association Peer Assistance Program

> Vermont Veterinary Medical Association Counseling and Support Information

> Washington Veterinary Medical Association Veterinary Wellness Resources
> Washington Physicians Health Program
> Washington Health Professional Services