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A caring message to ACVR

Trigger warning: Includes references to mental illness and suicide

 

Dear Colleagues,

Since their inception, Antech Imaging Services (AIS) and the ACVR have been dedicated to the wellbeing of veterinary professionals everywhere. We are honored today to announce that AIS and the ACVR have joined together to bring you a day of lectures on mental health awareness and wellbeing at this year’s ACVR Annual Meeting. In keeping with our commitment to the wellbeing of all, these lectures will be made available at no charge on the ACVR and meeting websites to all ACVR members, trainees, and post trainees for one year.

It has now been more than 18 months since a novel coronavirus has turned our lives upside down, bringing with it worldwide fear, illness, and death. Many of us have functioned from a state of isolation, with only our Zoom calls to keep us in connection with the outside world. The negative effects on mental health have, in many cases, been profound. The incidence of anxiety and depressive disorder has risen sharply during the pandemic, as has the incidence of substance use disorders.

As we are all acutely aware, many veterinarians are currently overworked, understaffed, and suffering from burnout and compassion fatigue. This is not just a result of the pandemic; mental health has long been at a crisis point among veterinarians, who suffer from an increased risk of depressive episodes and anxiety. A 2019 study by the CDC found that male veterinarians are twice as likely to die by suicide and female veterinarians are 3.5 times more likely to die by suicide than the general population.

The wellbeing of veterinary professionals must be viewed as one of the most important issues currently facing the profession. We believe that the best way to start addressing this issue is to open up the dialogue and work to remove the stigma surrounding mental health and substance use disorders. In the lectures of October 20, we hope to engage all of you in honest conversation about the mental health and wellbeing challenges facing the industry today, and to provide you with some valuable tools and resources. If you are in need of help yourself, please reach out to one of the resources below.

Please take good care of yourselves and reach out to those around you. We look forward to “seeing” you at the meeting.

All our best,

 

Lisa Ziemer, VMD, DACVR

Chief Medical Officer, Antech Imaging Services

Paul Fisher, PhD

Senior Vice President, Antech Imaging Services

 

in partnership with ACVR

 

Wm. Tod Drost, DVM, DACVR

Executive Director, American College of Veterinary Radiology

Nathan C. Nelson DVM, MS, DACVR, DACVR-Equine Diagnostic Imaging

President, American College of Veterinary Radiology

 

Nathalie Rademacher, Dr.med.vet. DACVR, DECVDI

Program Chair, American College of Veterinary Radiology

 

The American College of Veterinary Radiology graciously thanks Antech Imaging Services for recognizing the value of wellness and wellbeing and providing this educational material for all active College members. 

 

Resources are Available

Mental and Behavioral Health Resources

·    National behavioral health treatment services locator: findtreatment.samhsa.gov

·    Call the 24/7 National Helpline at 1-800-662-HELP (4357) for treatment referral and information

Crisis Resources

·    National Suicide Prevention Lifeline suicidepreventionlifeline.org

·    1-800-273-TALK (8255) for free and confidential support 24/7

·    Crisis Text Line crisistextline.org

·    Text “TALK” to 741-741 for free and confidential support 24/7.

Suicide Prevention Information

·    Suicide Risk Factors and Warning Signs: afsp.org/signs

·    Fact Sheet, Facts about Mental Health and Suicide Among Veterinarians afsp.org/veterinarianfacts

Loss and Healing Resources

·    After a Suicide Loss: afsp.org/afteraloss

·    Find a support group: afsp.org/findasupportgroup

Resources to Support Veterinary Wellbeing

·    avma.org/wellbeing: Includes access to QPR suicide prevention training—free to AVMA members

·    myvetlife.avma.org

·    navta.net/wellbeing

Resources for the Media

·    Safe Messaging: suicidepreventionmessaging.org

·    Reporting Guidelines, Recommendations for Reporting on Suicide: afsp.org/reportingonsuicide