Viticus Group Blog

Reaching Out to the One: Mental Health Crisis in the Medical Community

Posted by Abby Crimm

Healthcare professionals, both veterinary and human, need to know they're not alone. Heroes need help, too.

It's no secret anymore that healthcare workers are more prone to burnout, depression, and suicide than the general population, with numbers increasing in recent years. We've known about the crisis long before the COVID-19 pandemic hit, exasperating the mental health strains practice and hospital staff were already experiencing.

Providing support can be learning about the underlying causes, developing relationships with colleagues to be there for them individually, or getting involved in the organizations that serve veterinary and human health professionals in this area. 

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This is an issue near and dear to our hearts, not just because the people we serve are medical professionals but also because we want to make sure our own team members feel cared for and valued.

They do so much to take care of shelter animals that come in and make sure our education events go off without a hitch. Our staff always steps up in those special emergency cases too, sometimes even taking patients to their own home to recover, as Cookie's story demonstrated. That takes up a lot of time and love, which can be mentally and emotionally exhausting. 

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Veterinary Professionals: Not One More Vet

Not One More Vet (NOMV) is a campaign and organization that individual members of the Viticus Group team has supported for some time, and Viticus Group is excited to do so as well. They provide great resources and support groups, and they also offer grants to veterinary professionals who are struggling financially.

Viticus Group's Chief Veterinary Medical Officer, Dr. Tony Pease, says:

"Not One More Vet (NOMV) and their newest offering, Not One More Vet Support Staff (NOMVSS), are great resource groups on Facebook to provide support to the veterinary community. Although suicide is a universal issue, veterinarians and their support team have unique pressures and influences with our ability to humanely euthanize patients and the stresses that this brings to the profession. Along with the pandemic providing unprecedented case loads and challenges, the situation makes this group an outstanding support for our community to help anyone in your team.

We are very pleased to continue our support of NOMV as a member of our Viticus Group community and cannot thank them enough for the help that they provide to the profession."

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Human Health Professionals: Doctor Lifeline

Doctor Lifeline is an organization serving human health professionals. According to their website, the high suicide rate among medical professionals is partly because "the culture of medicine discourages doctors from seeking help for burnout or depression. Other toxic factors include bewilderingly hostile workplace environments, loss of societal stature, excessive documentation and regulatory demands, litigation stress, inflexible poorly designed electronic health records, insurance company preemption of clinical decisions, and a prevailing perception of increasing powerlessness."

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Viticus Group has created flyers and cards with uplifting messages and mental health hotlines/resources or both veterinary and human healthcare professionals. We're placing them on reception desks, in bathrooms, and in other easy-to-see places around the Viticus Center. It's a small way to help the medical professionals that go through our facilities that they are not alone. Because heroes need help sometimes, too!

 

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