The World Small Animal Veterinary Association (WSAVA) has added three newmembers to its Professional Wellness Group (PWG) to improve the health andwell-being of veterinarians.

The three new members are Dr. Veerle van Geenhoven, a senior veterinarian atthe Centre for Clinical Veterinary Medicine at Ludgwig University, Munich; Dr.Elli Kalemtzaki, a veterinarian and certified professional coach; Dr. DebbieStoewen, a veterinarian and creator of education program The Social Side ofPractice.

The trio have joined the team to help the mental health globally ofveterinarians and plan to release a set of global guidelines in early 2022aimed at bringing positive change and enhancing the well-being ofveterinarians.

Dr. Warwick Vale, President of the Australian Veterinary Association (AVA)said Australia is amid a veterinary shortage which is severely impactingveterinarian’s mental health.

“In practice we’re seeing burnout of our veterinarians at the coalface;they’re under-resourced in manpower. We’ve seen declining mental health andsuicide, which is a huge problem in our profession.

“Lack of staff and high case loads are leading to burnout and declining mentalhealth. They’re having to do extra and longer shifts, and many of thoseveterinarians are choosing to walk away from the profession, from servicingand from working as veterinarians because of these mental health issues andthe stress that they’re under.”

If you are a veterinarian who is experiencing a difficult time, please callthe Australian Veterinary Association on 1300 687 327 for confidentialtelephone counselling.

Tagged: mental health, veterinarian

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