Vermont Veterinary Medical Association

Counseling and Support Information


The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention found one in six veterinarians has considered or attempted suicide, and one in 10 suffers from severe psychological distress. The veterinary industry is in the midst of a serious mental health crisis, and we need to
acknowledge the high suicide risk among veterinarians and the importance of recognizing and treating depression.

If you are thinking of harming yourself, PLEASE, PAUSE, even for a moment. 
Just pause and:

  • Call 911.
  • Call a suicide prevention line (800) 273-8255 or (800) 784-2433.
  • Talk to your friends or family…tell them you need their help.
  • Call a mental health care provider. Give them a chance to help you.
  • Call your primary care provider.

If you think someone might harm themselves, or take their own life, 

  • Call 911 if you think it appropriate. Err on the side of caution.
  • Call a suicide prevention line (800) 273-8255 or (800) 784-2433.
  • Dedicate to helping in whatever way you can, without sacrificing you own well-being.

If you or someone you know is in need of support, please consult the links below for resources on mental health and well-being:

1)  Howard Center for Mental Health, Burlington VT, 802-660-7947 
2) Alcoholics Anonymous


1) American Veterinary Medical Association
They have a self-assessment tool and information on work and compassion fatigue, stress management, work-life balance and other wellness issues for you and your veterinary team.  

2) Vets-4-Vets (part of the Veterinary Information Network Foundation) 
Vets-4-Vets is a group of veterinarians providing mentorship and support to colleagues enduring personal or professional difficulties.  The main goal of the group is to provide a sounding board and a group of colleagues for vets that are having problems. The Vets-4-Vets members have set up a system to reach out to troubled colleagues, one at a time, and coordinate support.  This support may range from merely providing a sympathetic ear, to helping find options for mentorship or even therapy in the practitioner’s region.

3) The National Suicide Prevention Lifeline 
Call 1-800-273-TALK (8255).  The free, 24-hour hotline is available to anyone in suicidal crisis or emotional distress. Your call will be routed to the nearest crisis center to you.

4)  National Institute for Mental Health booklet "Depression, What You Need to Know".   This booklet contains information on the signs and symptoms of depression, treatment and support options and a listing of additional resources. 

Here are other helpful websites and articles for additional information:

You spend your day taking care of others -- don't forget to take care of yourself too!