Last year, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) released a report from a survey of more than 10,000 veterinarians revealing that the profession takes a major toll on mental health. Among those surveyed, 6.8% of men and 10.9% of women reported feelings of hopelessness and worthlessness, which can be warning signs of depression and suicidal thoughts. That’s nearly double the rate of similar negative emotions reported in the general population, according to the CDC.
Now animal health giant Zoetis ($ZTS) is stepping forward to offer support to working veterinarians. On October 18, the company announced that it has added personal wellness modules to Vetvance, a free online learning platform it developed in 2014 that contains more than 100 free multimedia courses on topics ranging from financial literacy to professional development.
Vetvance now includes seven new modules that provide tips for enhancing well-being and mental health, according to a press release from Zoetis. The courses are narrated by David Bartram, the company’s director of outcomes research, international operations, and a longtime researcher specializing in the health and wellness of veterinarians.
The stresses on veterinarians range from difficult clients to student loan debt that averages more than $135,000 a year and has been rising 7.5% annually by some estimates. The CDC’s study on mental health in the profession--the first of its kind--was conducted via an anonymous online survey of veterinarians, about 69% of whom worked in companion-animal medicine. The survey revealed that 14% of men and 19% of women working in the field had considered suicide. That’s three times the U.S. mean.
“Veterinary students and practicing veterinarians alike are often exhausted and overly stressed, and typically don’t have time to find support after hours,” Zoetis’ Bartram said in the release. “Our intent is to raise awareness of mental illness in this community while simultaneously providing tools and resources for earlier detection and prevention--so veterinarians can better manage the day-to-day challenges of their jobs.”
- here’s the release
Future veterinarians go to Congress to discuss student loan debt