AVA launches new wellness initiative, THRIVE

23 May 2022


Over the past twelve months  the AVA has been building on our previous endeavours, and that of the wider profession, to work towards a sustainable model for measurable, positive change to mental ill-health within our profession. Continuing on from our research into veterinary mental health and wellness (PDF), and the recommendations from this report, we are proud to be launching THRIVE – a veterinary wellness initiative that aims to support veterinarians and veterinary staff to lead satisfying, prosperous and healthy careers. 

We are very much aware that there is no magic bullet to solving the multifactorial issues of poor mental health within our profession. This will take time and effort, which is why we are making this a key focus for the association. Our first step is the investment of a fulltime staff resource to help develop and manage the various programs that will underpin THRIVE.   

In the coming months initial planned activities will be:  

  • Formation of a Wellness Steering Committee including members with lived experiences. A call for volunteers will occur this August. 
  • Development of an industry-specific mental health framework and suicide prevention strategy. 
  • Wellness ROUND TABLE with key stakeholders planned for October 2022, to help inform next steps. 
  • The development of a VET2VET peer support program pilot for release in the second quarter of 2023.

It will be important that all programs within THRIVE are guided by our policy Safeguarding and improving the mental health of the veterinary team. This outlines the importance of taking action to moderate work demands linked to occupational stress, while implementing interventions and resources to improve wellbeing targeted at the level of individuals, groups, leadership and organisations. 

It is our aim to continue formulating the overarching industry frameworks and guidelines that will protect the wellbeing of all veterinary practitioners.  

We are very excited to launch THRIVE; this sets the foundation of our future programs to prevent harm, promote the positives of the profession, and protect those in a crisis.