We have been asked to help publicize this important message from our colleague Dr. Myers over at justvetdata.com... She is working hard to facilitate this veterinary suicide awareness webinar, and has reached out to AVMA for funding but AVMA as we know is not necessarily the fastest horse out of the gate, and she is working on a deadline!
Last month the North American Veterinary Community (NAVC) held its annual conference in Orlando Florida. I organized a day long program called Ignite!, designed to present ideas to help us positively engage the profession's most challenging issues. Some of the issues were burnout, suicide, convenience euthanasia, mindfulness and respect.A veterinary suicide working group formed after the presentation and breakout. The informal working group has been offered the opportunity of putting on a free suicide awareness and prevention webinar in May courtesy of Justine Lee and VetGirlOnTheRun. The webinar spot is in May- the month in which the most suicides occur.Each free, RACE approved webinar attracts hundreds of veterinarians, according to Justine Lee of VetGirlOnTheRun. So in addition to presenting truly life saving information to a large number of vets at a critical time, we could ask how many vets are personally affected by this issue. We can use that info to get more money and support for dealing with suicide and depression in the veterinary profession.We would like to pursue RACE approval for the webinar. The group has assembled suitable content and presenters, but we need funding of $240 for the RACE accreditation fee.I've emailed AVMA for the funding at the suggestion of incoming AVMA president Ted Cohn. Ted was kind enough to moderate part of the Ignite! session for me. He has been personally affected by the suicide of a colleague, and is thus following the working group's progress and looking for ways to enable the AVMA to support efforts to address this issue.
But - we need to submit for RACE approval by and I don't know that AVMA will be able to respond in that time frame. So, I'd like to ask people to send money so we can fund RACE approval for this webinar. I would ask each of you to send $1. Symbolic that any one can help no matter how little you have to give, and symbolic that it takes everyone giving something to get the job done.
We here at VBB Central are hopeful that with increased awareness and colleague-to-colleague support, we can nip this problem in the bud before it gets worse. It's all about relationships. Reach out to a colleague in need. Talk to a difficult client like you'd talk to a friend. Try to change people's perception one person at a time! And also, please, donate to help make this webinar a reality!