December 01, 2016


 Free training offered in suicide prevention

Posted Nov. 16, 2016

On Nov. 19, the AVMA launched a training program to help members identify and aid individuals who may be at risk for suicide, as part of its ongoing well-being initiative.

QPR, which stands for question, persuade, and refer, is a method that can be used to recognize the warning signs of someone in crisis. Through this 90-minute, self-guided online program, individuals will also learn how to establish a dialogue and assist those in crisis to seek professional help. It is not intended to replace professional assistance.

In partnership with the AVMA PLIT and AVMA Life, the Association is opening up a limited number of free registrations for AVMA and Student AVMA members. The launch date coincides with National Survivors of Suicide Loss Day.

The hope is to build a wellness community among those who sign up for the training. That will happen through the newly established AVMA Wellness and Well-being Group on LinkedIn, where individuals can continue the onversation and discuss current wellness issues and techniques to help deal with stressors in the veterinary profession. Mental health professionals have signed on to provide additional resources for these topics.

“This pilot program demonstrates the AVMA’s commitment to moving forward in helping our profession become more healthy,” said Dr. Marci Kirk, assistant director for recent graduate initiatives at the AVMA.

The idea for offering QPR training first came about during the veterinary profession wellness roundtable, held this past March in Schaumburg, Illinois and convened by the AVMA. The 35 participants talked about major causes of wellness issues among veterinarians, strategies to promote wellness among veterinary professionals, barriers to implementing wellness programs, and tactics to overcoming these barriers. In addition, one of the priorities that roundtable participants highlighted was exploring the creation of more support communities for veterinarians.

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