VETERINARY MENTAL HEALTH INITIATIVE

Shanti’s Veterinary Mental Health Initiative (VMHI) was founded in 2021 because veterinarians and veterinary technicians are currently an underserved population with regards to mental health care and support.

Veterinary professionals can struggle with high rates of anxiety, depression, and suicidality, in addition to other mental health diagnoses.

The most recent data (2019) states that the suicide rate is higher among veterinarians than the general population — 1.6 times higher for male veterinarians and 2.4 times higher for female veterinarians. Veterinary technicians and technologists also have a higher suicide rate than among the general population — 5.0 times more likely for males and 2.3 times more likely for females.

Since the commencement of our life-saving initiative, VMHI has directly engaged with more than 200 veterinarians and veterinary technicians from across the U.S. and Canada.

Who VMHI Serves

We are deeply honored to serve all veterinarians and veterinary technicians who seek our support services, especially those from underserved minority communities with regards to ethnicity, race, religion and spirituality, age, sexual orientation, and/or disability.

Veterinarians and veterinary technicians from these communities suffer from disproportionate access to mental health services, and are much more likely to be beset by stigma if they are able to find affordable care. With our support groups and one-to-one services, VMHI provides an empathetic and supportive space to foster well-being and resilience in the veterinary profession.

For more information, please email Dr. Katie Lawlor at klawlor@shanti.org.

Important Information

Please know the Veterinary Mental Health Initiative (VMHI) does not provide emergency or crisis services, therapy, or counseling.

No client–therapist relationship is established by your participation in one of our services.

VMHI is not intended to be a substitute or replacement for mental health treatment.

Furthermore, we can only address concerns related to veterinary medicine. In some cases, our facilitators may recommend a specialized level of care if we believe this is in the best interest of the participant, rather than engaging in support services through the VMHI.

Please also be aware that while we do our best, we cannot respond to all emails immediately. Typically we are able to follow-up within 24 hours. We do not have a dedicated phone line.

If you are experiencing a mental health emergency, please call 911 and / or present to your closest emergency room.