In this article:
- Discover AVMA tools and resources that support personal and professional wellbeing.
- Learn steps you can take at work and home to support a culture of wellbeing.
- Learn how to find a wellbeing program or peer assistance contact in your state.
Get help now: Dial 988
If you believe you’re in crisis, please get help immediately. Call 988 or contact the National Suicide Prevention Lifeline’s Crisis Chat team.
Share with your team
Download this poster in color or black and white to post in your break room or other staff area.
Preventing and responding to suicide
Download and use these free resource guides to understand and implement effective strategies to prevent suicides and help veterinary workplaces and college communities recover after a suicide.
Your health matters
The wellbeing of veterinary professionals is one of the most important issues facing our profession, and a critical focus of the AVMA. Improving wellbeing is a shared responsibility that requires a committed effort by all members of our community. Practice teams, business owners, veterinary colleges, organizations, and individuals all have important roles to play.
Self-care for veterinary professionals
As veterinary professionals, we spend our working days caring for others—patients, clients, and our teammates. It’s crucial that we take time to care for ourselves, too. In fact, our mental and physical wellbeing depend on it. So does our ability to care for patients. Wellbeing is a choice that requires prioritization and accountability. Committing to self-care, and recognizing what we must do to protect and improve our wellbeing, are key steps in taking ownership of our health.
Begin here: Assess your wellbeing
Start your journey to improved wellbeing with the Professional Quality of Life (ProQOL) assessment. This test helps you measure your current balance of positive and negative personal and work-related experiences. Use the results as a starting point to create a self-care plan and pinpoint areas to incorporate health and wellbeing improvements into your life.
Wellbeing in the workplace is crucial—not only to team members' individual health and happiness, but also to our practice's success. A healthy and supportive work environment can boost productivity, increase job satisfaction, and help everyone focus on the important work of caring for patients. It also can make individual practices stand out to potential job candidates, making it easier to secure top talent as we grow our businesses.
Wellbeing events, trainings, and CE opportunities
Live your healthiest and most fulfilled life at work and at home, and help colleagues do the same. From online webinars and trainings to certificate programs and in-person events, AVMA empowers you to take ownership of your wellbeing and make health-centered decisions at work and home.
Workplace Wellbeing Certificate Program
QPR suicide prevention training
Training for veterinary educators
AVMA’s groundbreaking Train the Trainer workshop empowers veterinary professionals to become educators in workplace communication skills that support wellbeing. Participants learn valuable strategies to promote workplace wellbeing, and the confidence and skills to pass your expertise on to others. Learn more
Compassion and work fatigue: Know the risks
Do you feel emotionally numb or drained at the end of the day? Do you enjoy your work but feel like you have nothing left to give? If so, you might be suffering from compassion fatigue – and you’re not alone if that’s the case. Veterinary professionals are very much at risk for compassion fatigue, which can lead to serious health problems—both psychological and physical. Learn the symptoms of compassion fatigue and how to combat it.
Help when you need it
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. If you believe that you’re in crisis, please get help immediately by calling 1-800-273-8255 or contacting the National Suicide Prevention Lifeline’s Crisis Chat team. Find more resources here.
100 Healthy tips to support a culture of wellbeing
Get 100 practical suggestions to support healthful living at work and at home. AVMA’s guide offers steps for both individuals and organizations to take in nine dimensions of wellbeing.
Tools to strengthen your veterinary team
Our teams are the lifeblood of our practices. Learn how to build a more cohesive and collaborative staff unit while helping your team communicate more efficiently, overcome challenges, and grow together.
Cyberbullying and how to handle it
Protect your reputation, limit your risk, and discover ways to respond to cyberbullies. AVMA's reputation management toolkit has the practical resources you need.
Get certified in workplace wellbeing
AVMA's Workplace Wellbeing Certificate Program teaches the whole veterinary team crucial skills to support a culture of wellbeing in the workplace. The program consists of five modules focused on effective feedback, healthy conflict resolution, suicide prevention, and diversity and inclusion.
Latest wellbeing news from AVMA@Work
President's column: Helping the veterinary profession combat cyberbullying
April 19, 2023
Make team members feel valued and safe; here’s how
April 3, 2023
Become a wellbeing educator: New training dates added
March 30, 2023
What is psychological safety?
February 2, 2023
New tools help the profession combat cyberbullying
January 9, 2023
State wellbeing programs for veterinary professionals
Numerous states have wellbeing programs to help veterinary personnel and their families. Locate a support program or peer assistance contact in your state, and find summaries of laws, regulations, and confidentiality provisions governing state wellbeing programs.
International statement: Veterinary mental health and wellbeing
Working together to improve wellbeing across the veterinary community, AVMA and the Royal College of Veterinary Surgeons (RCVS) joined forces under the umbrella of Mind Matters International (MMI) to draft and approve a joint statement on mental health and wellbeing. It has been adopted by these organizations:
AVMA (July 2018)
RCVS (July 2018)
Canadian Veterinary Medical Association (August 2019)
Federation of Veterinarians of Europe (August 2019)
World Small Animal Veterinary Association (August 2019)
American Association of Veterinary State Boards (December 2020)
Veterinary Council of New Zealand (May 2021)
Federation of European Companion Animal Veterinary Associations (May 2021)
American Association of Veterinary Medical Colleges (July 2021)
Australian Veterinary Association (December 2021)
Veterinary Medical Association Executives (April 2022)
Join the MMI community
Would your organization like to sign onto the MMI initiative? Get started with this application