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Wednesday, February 15, 2017

AVMA introduces 2 new mental wellness initiatives to boost veterinarians.

The American Veterinary Medical Association (AVMA), one of the oldest and largest veterinary medical organizations in the world, has launched two new mental wellness initiatives to protect the health and welfare of its members. Joined by their insurance trusts, AVMA LIFE and AVMA PLIT, the AVMA initiated a pilot programme to train individuals to identify and assist those who might be considering suicide. The programme is free of charge to 4,000 veterinarians and 1,000 veterinary students. Cost considerations restrict the number of participants at this time, but the program may be expanded in the future. In addition to the training, a new LinkedIn community offers all veterinarians the opportunity to connect with thought leaders in the mental health profession and discuss a wide range of topics related to wellness and well-being. “AVMA is very much a family,” said AVMA President Dr. Tom Meyer. “When a recent study reported that one in six US veterinarians has contemplated suicide, we needed to act. As veterinarians we are saving the lives of our patients every day. We need to empower our member veterinarians with knowledge that might save a colleague’s life." Training for veterinarians: Called QPR – an acronym that stands for “Question, Persuade, Refer” – gatekeeper training teaches people without professional mental health backgrounds to: Recognize the signs that someone may be considering suicide; Establish a dialogue with the person; Guide the person to seek professional help. continue