Cultivating Emotional Wellness

Cultivating Emotional Wellness

Psychological Safety

This term refers to the collective belief among team members that their working environment is a secure space where they can freely take risks and express themselves without fear of judgment or negative consequences. This includes speaking up about ideas, questions, concerns, or making mistakes.

Psychological safety is a shared belief held by members of a team that the team is safe for interpersonal risk-taking, such as speaking up with ideas, questions, concerns, or making mistakes. Psychologically safe workplaces are important because they contribute to greater team member wellbeing, better team performance, and in healthcare settings, improved patient outcomes.

Unconscious Bias

We all possess unconscious or implicit biases, which are formed regularly to streamline daily tasks. These biases involve the categorizations and associations our brains create to enhance decision-making efficiency. While this mechanism is generally helpful, it can pose challenges when it influences decisions and interactions with others, including their animals. It’s crucial to recognize how unconscious bias, in tandem with stereotypes, can disproportionately harm individuals with historically and contemporarily marginalized identities.


Implicit bias is an automatic reaction we have towards other people. These attitudes and stereotypes can negatively impact our understanding, actions, and decision-making. The idea that we can hold prejudices we don’t want or believe was quite radical when it was first introduced, and the fact that people may discriminate unintentionally continues to have implications for understanding disparities in so many aspects of society, including but not limited to health care, policing, and education, as well as organizational practices like hiring and promotion.

Take the Harvard Implicit Association Test

Working through Compassion Fatigue

Secondary Traumatic Stress

Secondary traumatic stress (STS) can hit any medical provider at any time. Unlike burnout, which is due to the overarching stress of a job, STS presents with actual trauma symptoms. The National Child Traumatic Stress Network defines STS as “the emotional duress that results when an individual hears about the firsthand trauma experiences of another.” Symptoms of STS are similar to those of posttraumatic stress disorder (PTSD).

Learn More

  • Healthy Minds Program is a free app available for iOS and Android designed to help users develop skills for a healthy mind, using neuroscience and research-based techniques with meditation training.


Burn-out is a syndrome conceptualized as resulting from chronic workplace stress that has not been successfully managed. It is characterized by three dimensions:

  • feelings of energy depletion or exhaustion;
  • increased mental distance from one’s job, or feelings of negativism or cynicism related to one’s job; 
  • and reduced professional efficacy.
  • The Emotional PPE Project – The Emotional PPE Project connects healthcare workers in need with licensed mental health professionals who can help. No cost. No insurance. Just a trained professional to talk to.
  • Creating a Resilient Mindset – Learn how to condition your mind to navigate failure, adversity, change, challenges, and fear.
  • The Art and (Brain) Science of an Unprecedented Year – This dynamic seminar will take an engaging look at the unprecedented year through the lens of neuroscience, human behavior, and the “yes, and” approach to affirming hope, fostering adaptability, and improving health and wellbeing.

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.