GEORGIA EDITION  •  Newsletter  •  Issue 7, 2022

Dear Subscriber:

Here is the latest update from the Veterinary Wellbeing Alliance, with curated content to help veterinary professionals focus on their wellbeing. Subscribers receive this resource in addition to complimentary access to Listeners On Call.

If you have questions or comments on the newsletter, the service from Listeners On Call, or the Veterinary Wellbeing Alliance, you may contact Dr. Keri Riddick, Executive Director of the GVMA, at, or Adrian Hochstadt, VMAE CEO, at

To view a video on the Veterinary Wellbeing Alliance, click here.

Rest and reflection at the end of the year

While veterinary teams deserve to look back on the last two years with pride, the stress they’ve endured may outweigh the positive feelings. A 2021 study from Merck found that only a third of veterinarians experiencing a concerning amount of job-related stress had healthy ways to handle it.

“It is with compassionate hearts and a deep respect for animal life that those working in the veterinary industry continue to return to their jobs and assist those who are vulnerable in our society,” the Listeners On Call team writes. “But that energy must be returned to the caregiver to maintain mental health and wellness and continue the practice of care.”

Veterinary practices can offer a range of mental health resources to give their teams a vital outlet for stress. To learn more about the value of these resources, read the full article from Listeners On Call here.

U.S. Surgeon General offers advice for companies to foster workplace wellbeing

The U.S. Surgeon General in October released a new framework to help organizations develop, institutionalize and update policies and practices that support their workers’ wellbeing.

Surgeon General Dr. Vivek Murthy in the report lists five “Essentials for Workplace Mental Health and Wellbeing”:

  1. Protection from harm: Workplaces should prioritize physical and psychological safety, enable adequate rest, normalize a focus on mental health, and operationalize diversity, equity and inclusion policies, the report says.
  2. Connection and community: Organizations should create “cultures of inclusion and belonging,” help employees cultivate trusted relationships, and foster collaboration and teamwork.
  3. Work-life harmony: Workplaces can provide employees more autonomy, make schedules as flexible as possible, increase access to paid leave and respect boundaries between work and non-work time.
  4. Mattering at work: Workplaces should provide a living wage, engage workers in decisions, build a culture of gratitude and recognition, and connect individual work with the organization’s mission.
  5. Opportunities for growth: Organizations should offer quality training, education and mentoring; foster clear, equitable pathways for career advancement; and ensure employees get relevant feedback, the report says.

This is the first time the surgeon general’s office has put out a framework like this, Murthy told PBS, adding that he did it “because it’s undeniable that the workplace has a powerful impact on our mental health.”

“It turns out that when we invest in the mental health and wellbeing of our workers, two things happen,” Murthy said. “Our workers are better off, but also, the organizations are better off. Their productivity, their retention, creativity in the workforce all go up.”

Read the surgeon general’s announcement here, and read the full report here.

Employee recognition is key, but it’s not a priority for most organizations

Evidence shows recognizing employees for their achievements and for reaching important milestones can help reduce feelings of burnout and disengagement. But many employers don’t do it, according to a new report from Gallup.

Workplaces can recognize employees for achievements on the job or for reaching work anniversaries, and for things outside work like birthdays or weddings. They can recognize individual or group accomplishments. As one respondent to Gallup’s survey said, recognition is a way for company leadership to say, “I value your opinion; you’re an integral part of our organization.”

Seventy-three percent of employees said they’re less likely to “always” or “very often” feel burned out when their companies recognize them appropriately, and 56% said they’re less likely to look for job opportunities during those times.

At the same time, 81% of leaders said recognition isn’t a major strategic priority for their organization, and 73% of senior leaders said their organization doesn’t offer managers or leaders training in best practices for employee recognition.

Gallup’s research shows recognition has the biggest impact when it fulfills employees’ expectations and needs, when they perceive it as authentic, when it’s given equitably, and when it’s embedded in the workplace’s culture. But in each of those categories, fewer than a third of employees said their companies actually meet the mark.

“Recognition is critical to the employee experience and those living it, including leaders,” Gallup’s report says. It can affect how leaders do their job, and if they invest in it appropriately, it can lead to better business results.

Read more in the report from Gallup.

Workplaces need to rethink their investments to improve employee wellbeing, survey finds

While many workers say their physical, emotional and mental wellbeing is just as important to them as their pay, workplaces seem to be investing in the least effective tools to support their employees.

That’s according to a new survey conducted by a group of researchers in Australia, who heard from just over 1,000 randomly selected employees about their workplaces and offered three pieces of advice for employers to improve their wellbeing programs:

  1. Promote wellbeing, don’t just protect mental health. According to the survey, nearly one-third of workers reported feeling uncomfortable talking about mental health (31.9%) or accessing mental health programs at work (33.1%), compared to feeling comfortable talking about wellbeing (76.2%) and accessing wellbeing programs (73.5%).
  2. Invest in wellbeing tools for everyone; don’t just mitigate risk. Employee assistance programs are the most frequently provided support in Australian workplaces, but workers say they use them less than other resources, and they appear to be relatively ineffective improving wellbeing and motivation. Artificial intelligence bots, wellbeing apps, workshops and coaching were reported by workers as more effective.
  3. Take a systems approach; don’t just expect self-care. Many workers said they were burning out at work, citing issues like unachievable job demands, poor workplace relationships and harassment. Leaders need to address these issues so employees can improve their wellbeing and productivity, according to the report.

The survey is available here. Read about it in an article by one of its co-leads in Psychology Today.

WHO report helps workplaces support employee mental health

A recent report from the World Health Organization provides guidance for workplaces to support their employees’ mental health.

The aim of the guidelines is to give “evidence-based recommendations to promote mental health, prevent mental health conditions and enable people living with mental health conditions to participate and thrive in work,” according to WHO’s website.

The report categorizes recommendations for interventions at the organizational level, recommendations to train managers, recommendations for training workers and recommendations for interventions to help individual workers.

Depression and anxiety cost the global economy $1 trillion each year, driven mostly by lost productivity, according to WHO.

The best practices recommended by the agency “have the potential to scale globally to environmental, social and governance (ESG) frameworks—incorporating mental health, diversity, equity and inclusion, and neurodiversity,” Garen Staglin, co-founder of the mental health advocacy group One Mind, writes in Forbes.

Columbia University, Ethisphere and One Mind have created an assessment tool aligned with WHO’s guidance to help organizations benchmark their programs and services.

Read the news in The Hill.

Read a WHO policy brief here and the full report here.

Founding Patrons

Lap of Love: One of Lap of Love’s core values is “help above all else.” We do that by prioritizing the wellbeing of the pets and families we serve, our staff and the veterinary industry. We provide compassionate end-of-life care for senior and geriatric pets across the country through our in-home euthanasia, veterinary hospice and teleadvice consultation services. We also offer pet loss support services to anyone who has experienced the loss of a pet, whether they used Lap of Love or not. Lap of Love elevates the wellbeing of our staff through our 5-pillar wellness program that promotes mental, physical, financial, spiritual and professional growth of all team members. Lap of Love enhances the wellbeing of the veterinary industry by sharing our gold-standard, end-of-life care resources with all veterinary professionals. Please visit to access our resources. We are honored to be a founding patron of the Veterinary Wellbeing Alliance…it’s one more way we can support the wellbeing of the industry.

Covetrus: Covetrus is a global animal-health technology and services company dedicated to empowering veterinary practice partners to drive improved health and financial outcomes. We are bringing together products, services and technology into a single platform that connects our customers to the solutions and insights they need to work best. Our passion for the wellbeing of animals and those who care for them drives us to advance the world of veterinary medicine. Covetrus is headquartered in Portland, Maine, with more than 5,700 employees serving over 100,000 customers around the globe. For more information about Covetrus, please visit

Copyright © Veterinary Wellbeing Alliance