As a busy veterinary professional focused on the wellbeing of your patients and clients, your health and wellbeing may be put on the backburner. We've compiled a list of helpful resources for you, your colleagues, friends, family, and clients in the event you're feeling burnt out, overwhelmed, and at a loss.
If you are having thoughts of suicide, text 741-741 to connect with a trained crisis counselor right away or call the National Suicide Prevention Lifeline 1-800-273-TALK (8255)
Gatekeeper training teaches people without professional mental health backgrounds to recognize the signs that someone may be considering suicide, establish a dialogue, and guide the person to seek professional help. It is not a substitute for professional assistance, but it can be a critical tool to save lives – and it's something that any veterinary professional can learn to do.
The Professional Quality of Life (ProQOL) assessment is a widely validated, self-administered assessment tool that measures the negative and positive effects of helping others who are experiencing suffering and trauma. It can be used as a guide to assess your balance of positive and negative personal and work-related experiences. The tool is designed to provide introspection about oneself and one’s environment, and can become a starting point for change. Please note that the assessment is not a diagnostic test, and therefore no official diagnosis can be determined based on the results.
Compassion fatigue and burnout are similar but not interchangeable. Compassion fatigue – also known as "vicarious trauma," "secondary traumatic stress” or “secondary victimization” – is the result of a medical caregiver’s unique relationship with a patient, through which empathy allows the caregiver to “take on the burden” of the ill or dying patient. Veterinarians are very much at risk for compassion fatigue.
Knowing when to reach out for help – and doing it – might be the most important part of your wellbeing plan. No one can do everything alone, and this is especially true where mental health is involved. As medical professionals ourselves, we know the importance of both preventive care and treating illness. It’s important to remember that this applies to our own mental wellbeing as well as physical health.
Text "Life" to 61222 to be connected to trained, compassionate counselors 24/7/365.
Minnesota Mental Health Crisis Response Phone Numbers (By County)
Wisconsin Crisis Response Phone Numbers (By County)
Minnesota Health Professionals Services Program
Minnesota's Health Professionals Services Program protects the public by providing monitoring services to regulated health care professionals whose illnesses may impact their ability to practice safely. The goals of HPSP are to promote early intervention, diagnosis and treatment for health professionals with illnesses, and to provide monitoring services as an alternative to Board discipline.
Suicide Prevention Lifeline Online Chat
24/7 Phone: 1-800-273-8255
We can all help prevent suicide. The Lifeline provides 24/7, free and confidential support for people in distress, prevention and crisis resources for you or your loved ones, and best practices for professionals.
Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration
24/7 Phone: 1-800-662-4357
The Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration’s helpline offers information in English and Spanish to people facing addiction, substance abuse problems and mental health concerns. Callers from the United States and U.S. territories can get free help finding nearby physicians and treatment centers specializing in addiction and mental health disorders.
Alcohlic Anonymous General Service Office
24/7 Phone: 1-800-622-2255
The National Council on Alcoholism and Drug Dependence and its network of affiliate organizations provide assistance to people struggling with substance use disorders, such as alcoholism and opioid addiction. NCADD can help you assess your situation and provide information on treatment options. The Hope Line can connect you with a nearby treatment center and other helpful resources in your community.
Alcohlic Anonymous General Service Office
Alcoholics Anonymous is a worldwide fellowship of men and women who have struggled with alcoholism. People in recovery attend AA meetings to receive nonprofessional support from peers who understand their personal struggles with alcohol and maintaining sobriety. The organization hosts thousands of meetings for anyone who wants to work on their problems with alcohol. To find a meeting near you, call the Alcoholics Anonymous General Service Office or visit the AA website.
National Alliance on Mental Illness HelpLine
Phone: 1-800-950-6264 (Monday - Friday: 10:00 AM - 6:00 PM EST)
The National Alliance on Mental Illness HelpLine offers free and confidential assistance to people with mental health disorders, their family members and their caregivers. The advocacy group provides information about mental health conditions and refers callers to nearby treatment and support services.
LGBT National Hotline
Phone: 1-888-843-4564 (Monday - Friday: 4:00 PM - 12:00 AM EST; Saturday: 12:00 PM - 5:00 PM EST)
The Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual and Transgender National Hotline offers one-on-one support, information and local resources to members of the LGBTQ+ community. The free and confidential hotline helps callers of all ages with mental health problems, coming-out concerns, relationship problems, bullying and more. You can also call to find LGBT-friendly support groups, religious organizations and sports leagues.
Al-Anon Family Groups
24/7 Phone: 1-888-425-2666
Al-Anon Family Groups offers a supportive community for teens and adults affected by another person’s alcoholism. People attend Al-Anon and Alateen meetings to share support, coping strategies and stories of hope with others who are suffering because of a friend or family member’s addiction. Call the Al-Anon hotline to find meetings in your area.
Nar-Anon Family Groups
Phone: 1-800-477-6291 (Monday - Thursday: 9:00 AM - 5:00 PM PST; Friday: 9:00 AM - 3:00 PM PST)
Nar-Anon Family Groups is a fellowship for people affected by a loved one’s drug addiction. Nar-Anon hosts weekly meetings where members discuss the challenges of addiction and share support. Members learn the Twelve Steps of Nar-Anon, which can help them cope with personal problems related to a friend or family member’s addiction. Call the Nar-Anon hotline to locate meetings in your community.
Depression is more than feeling sad or stressed. It’s a continuing condition that can interrupt regular activity. If untreated, depression can become more severe and develop into a serious illness. It can affect performance at work or school and interfere with personal relationships. In the worst situations, depression can lead to suicide.
Drug Abuse Resources
Prescription drugs have soared in popularity in the past two decades and are now the most abused substances in the world behind alcohol and marijuana. Access to prescription drugs is plentiful in the United States, and the rate of prescription drug addiction has reached epidemic levels.
Signs of substance abuse include smelling like alcohol or other drugs, getting in trouble, blacking out. Changes in behavior and appearance are also common. People who use drugs tend to do things they wouldn’t normally do while sober.