Veterinary Wellness

GVMA Resilience & Well-Being Committee (formerly “Wellness Committee”)

The Resilience & Well-Being Committee’s charter is to identify, verify, assist and support veterinarians, family members or staff members who are impaired by reason of their addiction to or abuse of drugs, including alcohol. The committee also serves as an advocate for the impaired person with the family, state board, peers, employers and government enforcement agencies.

If you are thinking of harming yourself, PLEASE, PAUSE and:

For help with substance abuse call The Georgia HELPLINE at 1-800-338-6745.

If you think someone might harm themselves, or take their own life, TAKE THIS SERIOUSLY:

  • Call 911 if you think it appropriate. Err on the side of caution.
  • Call a suicide prevention line (800) 273-8255 or (800) 784-2433.
  • Call your local county crisis line (see website for list of counties and phone numbers).
  • Dedicate to helping in whatever way you can, without sacrificing you own well-being.

Mindful Stress Resilience 6-Week Course

Join Dr. Laura Smallwood as she teaches mindfulness as a methodology for managing stress both in the workplace and at home.

First course on Monday, April 19th, 7pm-8pm EST

Learn More and Register Here!

UGA CVM Emotional Crisis Response Virtual Workshop

Review of strategies when working with clients and coworkers in emotional crisis including suicidal ideation/plan, panic attacks, and potential domestic abuse. Offers 2 hours of LEAP CE credit (GBVM-2538)

Saturday, April 24th, 2pm-4pm EST

Learn More and Register Here!

Thanks to a partnership between the Georgia Veterinary Medical Association and QPR Institute Inc., GVMA members receive FREE Question-Persuade-Refer Suicide Training

Member Assistance Program

We are providing a valuable benefit to all members and their immediate family known as the Member Assistance Program (MAP). We have partnered with McLaughlin Young Group, an independent provider of MAP services. There is no enrollment required and you are eligible to use the MAP through McLaughlin Young as of January 1, 2019.

The MAP offers help for personal and/or professional concerns by providing free, confidential, short-term counseling and personal consultation. Additionally, the MAP provides work-life resources for such issues as legal and financial consultations, online learning and resources. They are a network of counselors that are conveniently located. They can help you improve or resolve personal difficulties whether big or small, personal or work-related.

Some examples of concerns that the MAP addresses include:

  • Family conflict
  • Depression and anxiety
  • Relationship issues
  • Work-related issues
  • Grief and loss
  • Alcohol or drug use
  • Stress
  • Legal and financial issues

Confidentiality is one of the most important features of the MAP. No one will know that you have used this resource unless you offer that information or unless someone’s safety is threatened.

There is no cost to GVMA Members for your phone calls or face-to-face visits with the MAP. The Georgia Veterinary Medical Association covers all expenses for member access to this program.

GVMA Members, please take advantage of this wonderful benefit! The MAP staff at McLaughlin Young is available 24 hours a day, seven days a week, ready to assist you. Remember, the MAP is always a good place to begin.

Additional Resources

Suicide Prevention


Veterinarians and Mental Health: CDC Results and Resources
Article from American Veterinary Medical Association. See Resource

What are the signs and symptoms of depression?
The National Institute of Mental Health offers resources on depression, treatment options and where to go for help.  See Resource

What Can We Do About Suicide? 
Veterinary Team Brief. See Resource

Helpful Websites

This Emotional Life
A multi-year campaign to foster awareness, connections and solutions around emotional wellness.

Preventing Suicide, Building Resilience Webinar
The Pet Poison Helpline and AVMA Life have teamed up to co-sponsor webinars on a variety of topics pertaining to veterinary wellness. Together, they have brought us the Healthcare Provider Mental Health: Preventing Suicide and Building Resilience topic. Presentation slides also available for download.

Mind Matters Initiative Symposium Webinars
The Mind Matters Initiative was launched in 2015 in response to the need to support and better equip those in the veterinary sector who were facing stress related issues, helping to improve the mental health and well-being of veterinary surgeons, veterinary nurses, practice managers and students.

SAVMA “It’s OK” video series
These videos were created to encourage veterinary professionals to share their struggles

Provides free and confidential support to the veterinary community through a helpline, a health support program and a fund for financial support

Wellness and Peer Assistance AVMA

Find health resources and personalized health tools.

The leading source for trustworthy and timely health and medical news and information.

My Family Health Portrait
Helps document family health history to track diseases that may be hereditary.

This Emotional Life
A multi-year campaign to foster awareness, connections and solutions around emotional wellness.

American Heart Association
Go Red for Women Campaign

2-minute video from Mayo Clinic
Learn the new CPR method that may help you save someone’s life.

Helpful Articles

Are You at Risk for Compassion Fatigue?
Veterinary Team Brief

Washington State University

How Can I tell if a Provider is Chemically Impaired?
Charles Meredith, MD,  Washington Physicians Health Program

And Then, the Silence Was Fatal!
Mandatory Reporting for Healthcare Practitioners – Mick Oreskovich, MD

German study: Widespread Stress Found Among Veterinarians

A Disturbing Trend: Veterinary Cyber Bullying
Suzanne Smither, Veterinary Team Brief, April 2014

Cyberbullying – and How to Handle It

Fighting the cyberbully: How harassment can affect your practice
Journal of the American Veterinary Medical Association (JAVMA), Nov 15, 2015

I’m Being Cyber-Bullied
Andy Roark, DVM, MS

Compassion Fatigue: Healing the Healer

Would you recognize a stroke?
If someone experienced a sudden stroke, would you recognize it and know what to do? Make a commitment to learn the stroke warning signs and where stroke hospitals exist in your area.

Health Care Reform Timeline

Addiction in the Practice: Is it time to do something about it?
AAHA Trends Magazine, April 2013

Is There Hope? Exclusive addiction survey results from AAHA
AAHA Trends Magazine, May 2013

Workplace Violence: Issues in Response
Federal Bureau of Investigation

Violence in Veterinary Practices

I had a Black Dog, His Name Was Depression
Created by the World Health Organization, this video is a creative and engaging effort to demystify and destigmatize depression that also includes easy to adopt self-care tips, as well as recommendations for gaining support.

Recommended Readings

Kitchen Table Wisdom: Stories That Heal, by Rachel Remen, MD

The Five Things We Cannot Change and the Happiness We Find in Embracing Them, by David Richo

NOTE: The information contained in these self-help documents is not to be used as a substitute for professional care. Neither the authors nor the Georgia Veterinary Medical Association (GVMA) assume liability for injury incurred by following the information presented in these self-help resources.