Mental Health Resources

Few will disagree that veterinary medicine is a rewarded career path. But it can also be a stressful, tiring, and rough one as well. Getting into (and completing) veterinary school, years of long hours and heavy workloads, dealing with demanding clients - all of these can wear a person down.

Many find it difficult to discuss personal stresses, feelings of being overwhelmed or depressed, and mental illness. Fortunately, more and more resources are becoming available to veterinarians to help cope with stressors such as burnout and compassion fatigue, as well as information on how to maintain mental health. The AVMA also has many great resources for wellness and peer assistance.

If you need immediate assistance, contact the National Suicide Prevention Hotline:  Dial 988

Upcoming Wellness Events with MVMA

Nature is Nurture: Health Benefits of Outdoors
Sunday, December 11, 2022
10:00 - 11:00am
Online via Zoom
Online interactive CE via Zoom (1 credit)
Featuring Dr. Stacy Beller Stryer, M.D.

 

Employee Assistance Programs (EAPs)

Some employers offer staff an EAP. These programs offer free and confidential assessments, short-term counseling, referrals, and follow up services to employees who have personal and/or work-related problems. They address a variety of issues including (but not limited to) substance abuse, stress, grief, family problems, and psychological disorders. You can check with your employer to find out if you have access to an EAP through work. The MVMA has partnered with CorpCare to provide a member discounted EAP program for clinics. Learn more HERE.

 

Locating a Mental Health Professional

Massachusetts Psychologists who see Veterinarians (Massachusetts Psychological Association)

Psychology Today Therapist & Counselor Search(tool to locate mental health professionals and treatment centers in the US and Canada)

Find a Psychologist (Massachusetts Psychological Association) 
 

COVID-19 Mental Health Resources

Addiction and Mental Health During Coronavirus
How to Stay Active at Home During Coronavirus
How to Deal with Depression During Coronavirus
Effects of Social Isolation Caused by Covid-19
How to Manage Anxiety During Coronavirus


Self-Assessment and Warning Signs

Professional Quality of Life Scale (Steven Adelman, MD)
Finding Calm Amid the Chaos (AVMA)
The Impaired Veterinarian: Recognizing Depression & Possible Suicide (www.veterinaryteambrief.com)

Are You at Risk for Compassion Fatigue (www.veterinaryteambrief.com)
My Family Health Portrait (Surgeon General)
Are You Burned Out? (Integrative Veterinary Care Journal)

 

Compassion Fatigue and Burnout

Caring too much can hurt. When caregivers focus on others without practicing self-care, destructive behaviors can surface. Apathy, isolation, bottled up emotions, and substance abuse head a long list of symptoms associated with secondary traumatic stress disorder (now labeled Compassion Fatigue). Here are resources on recognizing and dealing with Compassion Fatigue.

Compassion Fatigue Awareness Project
Self-Compassion: A Healthier Way of Relating to Yourself
Fighting Compassion Fatigue in the Veterinary Profession (Veterinary Practice News)
Depression vs. Burnout (www.veterinaryteambrief.com)

 

Suicide in the Veterinary Profession

Read Massachusetts psychologist Dr. Lisa Livshin's article from the December 2015 issue of MassVet News on Depression and Suicide Risk in the Veterinary Profession.
National Suicide Prevention Hotline (Dial 988 if you need to talk to someone)
QPR Suicide Prevention Training - FREE for AVMA members
Samaritans' 24/7 Helpline Service (Call 877-870-4673. 40 languages available)
After a Suicide: A Guide for Veterinary Workplaces (Thanks to VHMA for this resource)

Suicide Prevention Resource Center
Suicide Risk for Vets and Vet Techs (CDC)
AAVMC Suicide Prevention Awareness Toolkit (AAVMC)

 

Substance Abuse, Chemical Dependence, and Addiction

List of MA centers and programs for treatment of alcohol and drug addiction
Recovering Champions - Treatment program in MA
Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration (SAMHSA)
National Institute on Alcohol Abuse and Alcoholism (NIAAA)
National Council on Alcoholism and Drug Dependence, Inc.
Alcohol Rehab Information
Alcoholics Anonymous (AA)
International Doctors in AA (Special Virtual AA Group for Doctors)
Narcotics Anonymous (NA)
DrugRehab.com and AddictionCenter.com and AddictionResource.net
NIAAA Find a Rehab Center Resources

Rethinking Drinking (NIH)

For Family Members:
Al-Anon Family Groups
Nar-Anon Family Groups

 

Peer Assistance and Wellness

Model Program for Wellness (AVMA)
MentalHelp.Net
Human Support in Veterinary Settings (AAHA)
Vets 4 Vets Group (VIN Foundation)
Not One More Vet (NOMV) Initiative and NOMV Private Facebook Group

 

Trainings

AVMA Workplace Wellbeing Certificate

Mental Health First Aid - Mental health first aid is a skills-based training course that teaches participants about mental health and substance-abuse issues.
Mindfulness Based Stress Reduction (MBSR) - 
8-week evidence-based program offering secular, intensive mindfulness training to assist people with stress, anxiety, depression, and pain.
University of TN Veterinary Human Support Certificate Program - 
Provides education for animal related professionals on four areas of Veterinary Social Work.

 

Additional Resources

It's OK Videos (For veterinarians and students by veterinarians and students - AVMA)
Collection of Ted Talks on the subject of Mental Health
HelpGuide.org

Loneliness, Social Isolation and Substance Abuse Resources

Get MotiVETed Community (podcasts, trainings, courses, etc.)