Veterinary science offers a stimulating and rewarding career, and many veterinarians find their work both satisfying and enjoyable.

But we all experience stress from time to time, and there are some common points in a veterinarian’s career when stress is high, and vets need to put some extra thought into taking care of themselves.

The information in this section offers some facts about some of the threats to the health and wellbeing of veterinarians, such as stress, addictions, grief and loss, depression, anxiety and suicide.

There’s also simple advice about how to take steps to stay healthy, maintain a good work-life balance, and deal positively with conflict.


How the AVA can help

Programs and services for members to help you stay healthy and support you in your professional life.

If you’re distressed and you’re not an AVA member, please call Lifeline on 13 11 14 to speak to a trained volunteer counsellor. Speaking to a close friend, family member, colleague or trusted advisor can also help.

Articles and surveys

A guide for managing employees reporting thoughts of self-harm - Converge

8 steps to a better work-life balance, produced by Open Colleges

Occupational mobility and suicide media release - July 2016

VetSet2Go - Building veterinary employability -  2016

Psychological well-being of Australian veterinarians – March 2009

Suicide in Australian veterinarians – April 2008

General information and other resources

A list of support services available in Australia 

Beyond Blue - Anxiety checklist

Beyond Blue - Understanding anxiety and depression

Blue pages - provides information on treatments for depression based on the latest scientific evidence

CALM - Computer assisted learning for the mind

Converge - Creating healthy workplaces poster

Employee Assistance Program (EAP) connect app -  information and support for issues that impact your work, health and life

LifeLine - self help tools

Makeheadway - Wellness poster by Dr Cathy Warburton

Mental health first aid app - MHFA free download

Mental health first aid - guidelines and fact sheets relating to depression, anxiety and other disorders 

MindHealthConnect - Mental health and wellbeing website

MoodGYM - free online cognitive behaviour program, to help you identify and overcome problem emotions 

MyCompass - a self-help tool for individuals to better self manage mild to moderate symptoms of depression, anxiety and stress

SafeWorkAustralia - becoming mentally health - 2016

Self Compassion - guided meditations

Smiling Mind - Mindfulness meditation programs - 2016

Suicide Prevention Pathways - Suicide awareness services and programs

The Webinar Vet - Mindfulness recorded sessions - 2017

The Webinar Vet - Sleep series starting 7 June 2017 - A 6-week course aimed at helping people in the veterinary profession understand more about sleep, worry less about sleep, and feel less tired and bothered about the effect that sleep problems have on their lives.

This way up - provides online learning courses and tools to help with depression and anxiety

Vetlife - The British Veterinary Association website on the health and welfare of veterinarians


Staying Sane: How To Make Your Mind Work For You, Raj Persaud

Who Moved My Cheese?, Spencer Johnson (an amazing way to deal with change)

Manhood, Steven Biddulph

I Dont Want To Talk About It: Overcoming The Secret Legacy Of Male Depression, Terrence Real

The Peace of Mind Prescription: An Authoritative Guide to Finding the Most Effective Treatment for Anxiety and Depression, Dennis Charney, Charles Nemeroff and Stephen R. Braun


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