Zoetis Inc. just announced the addition of seven new Personal Wellness modules to Vetvance, its free, web-based learning resource for the veterinary community.
The effort is a response to the growing body of evidence that veterinary professionals worldwide experience mental illness, depression, and suicidal tendencies at a significantly higher rate than the general population.
A study conducted by the National Association of State Public Health Veterinarians, Auburn University, and the US Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) found among 10,000 working veterinarians, 6.8% of men and 10.9% of women showed signs of serious psychological distress – including feelings of hopelessness and worthlessness -- since graduating from veterinary school. This compares with 3.5% of men and 4.4% of women in the general U.S. adult population.
Also, 14.4% of men and 19.1% of women who are veterinarians have considered suicide since graduation. This is three times the US national mean.
Zoetis says the new 2-3-minute video modules, are part of its ongoing Commitment to Veterinarians platform, are designed to help prepare veterinary professionals to proactively recognize and address the warning signs of mental illness.
Zoetis collaborates with the American Veterinary Medical Association and the Association of American Veterinary Medical Colleges to support education focused on veterinary wellness.
Vetvance offers learning modules on a range of non-technical topics that supplement the veterinary college curriculum, including more than 100 multi-media modules that cover topics relevant to professional development, business skills and financial literacy, online networking, and job opportunities.
The new Vetvance video modules add personal wellness to the catalog of course offerings, providing information and suggested techniques for enhancing personal mental health and wellbeing. They are narrated by Dr. David Bartram, Director of Outcomes Research, International Operations, Zoetis. He has spent much of his career conducting empirical research into health and wellness in the veterinary profession and has authored multiple articles on the topic. To further support this effort, Zoetis also has added links to online information and resources about mental health and wellbeing to Vetvance.
Vetvance was created in 2014 to provide veterinary students and recent graduates with tools and resources to support their career development. Today, Zoetis says the online tool has nearly 11,000 registered users globally, and is used by veterinary students, seasoned veterinarians, veterinary technicians and social workers.
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