Supporting the well-being of the animal healthcare sector

Just like a farmer, the stress of being a veterinarian can take its toll. There are efforts underway to support the animal healthcare sector.

For the past several years, the veterinary industry has focused on helping improve the well-being of veterinarians. They care for our animals, but not always themselves.

According to Boehringer Ingelheim veterinarian, Dr. Jamie Pribyl, “It’s kind of ingrained in us to be a caretaker, right? We care about the wellness of our patients and our clients, and oftentimes neglect, really the well-being of ourselves. So, the physical, mental, spiritual, and social well-being aspects that contribute to your overall well-being.”

Dr. Pribyl says that the warning signs are the same for the general population.

“That can be just a change in their demeanor, instead of being enthusiastic, like they normally were, they’re more irritable or it’s easier to run into conflicts with them, they seem down,” she states. “Then, of course, the serious warning signs are when folks actually verbalize something like ‘I wish I could go to sleep and never wake up.’”

She says it is one of the most important issues facing the industry today.

“So, for the past several years, there’s been a big push by... professional associations, to really bring awareness to the struggles that veterinarians face,” she adds. “By doing that, you know, try to remove some of that stigma about seeking help or talking about your feelings, and sort of sharing what you’re going through.”

Small animal vets have to change mindsets quickly when moving from a family’s new pet appointment to a euthanization. Farmers and pet owners can help by simply showing gratitude.

“One thing to know as an animal owner, whether it is livestock or a pet, have awareness that mental well-being is an issue in our profession, as it can be in the general population as well. I think one of the best things you can do with your veterinarian is just show them gratitude for what they’re doing, just showing gratitude and kindness is an amazing therapy,” she explains.


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