Preventing suicide and promoting mental health

Greetings, colleagues –

AVMA and AAVMC have been working collaboratively over the past few days to put together a webinar next Thursday, to which VMAE members are invited.  You are also encouraged to share this information with those you believe will benefit from the content:

Suicide prevention and mental health

Thursday, March 18 – Noon to 2 PM Central time – Live webinar

Save your seat now to join experts from the AVMA and the Association of American Veterinary Medical Colleges (AAVMC) for a conversation about supporting mental health in the veterinary profession. This free webinar will take place on Thursday, March 18, noon – 2 PM Central time. All members of the veterinary community are invited to participate in this important discussion.

Veterinary professionals face challenges both big and small. This seminar will provide participants with strategies to promote mental health, identify the warning signs of a mental health crisis, get help for someone who’s struggling, and give support after a suicide event – vital steps in building healthy communities and supporting our colleagues and peers.  Participants will delve into the latest research on suicide and its causes, and learn the importance of using culturally appropriate, evidence-based strategies to promote mental health, prevent suicide, and intervene in a mental health crisis.  The presentation also will review available AVMA resources for veterinary professionals developed in collaboration with the American Foundation for Suicide Prevention. These include toolkits for veterinary workplaces and veterinary colleges to create a plan of action in the event of a suicide.

The webinar will be led by Jen Brandt, Ph.D., director of wellbeing, diversity and inclusion initiatives at the AVMA, and Makenzie Peterson, M.Sc., director for wellbeing at the AAVMC.

A culture and community of caring offers help and hope to its members. We all have a role to play and we welcome you to join this important conversation. Reserve your seat here.

Also, earlier this week Adrian Hochstadt posted this message to the VMAE listserv: “Please find attached a statement from the AVMA and the Association of American Veterinary Medical Colleges (AAVMC) concerning recent distressing news about veterinary colleagues who have died by suicide. We wish to offer some helpful resources and tools, and point out best practices suicide prevention experts recommend regarding social media coverage of such events. And of course, above all, we wish to offer compassion, hope and help save lives.”  The document Adrian references is attached for your reference and contains valuable guidance on the appropriate sharing of information about an individual’s death by suicide.

Please create space to reflect on ways that we, as influencers, can help create visibility around these resources and help communicate messages of hope.  Your voice matters.