The FVMA’s current offerings for mental well-being assistance

Membership Assistance Program

The FVMA has implemented a Membership Assistance Program (MAP) through our partnership with McLaughlin Young Group. MAP provides our members with free, confidential, short-term counseling and personal consultation along with additional work-life resources for such issues as legal and financial consultations.

Some examples of concerns that the MAP addresses include:

• Family conflict & relationship issues
• Depression and anxiety
• Grief and loss
• Alcohol or drug use
• Legal and financial issues

We strongly recommend all members register for MAP now, so they have resources readily available in a time of need. To use your MAP benefits visit and click on My Portal Login – Work-Life.

Username: fvma2021 | Password: guest

Login to MAP

Well-being Training

Dr. Philip Richmond, DVM, CAPP, CPPC, CCFP, serves as chair of the Professional Well-being Committee and often presents live “QPR Suicide Prevention Gatekeeper Training” at our small animal conferences, in addition to free, live well-being CE via the FVMA LINK virtual platform.

The Professional Well-being Committee

We started the Professional Well-being Committee in 2017 to provide Florida veterinarians with resources and support for chemical dependency, psychiatric illness, eating disorders, anger management, professional burnout and compassion fatigue. The committee has provided education on these topics through resources such as the FVMA Advocate, monthly e-newsletters, our FVMA website, and lectures and workshops at conferences.

Understanding the Issue

Our members do so much to care for our pets, and it is our responsibility to care for our members. Mental well-being has become an increasingly important topic in veterinary medicine as significant studies have shown that the profession, while rewarding, can be straining.

A 2014 Centers for Disease Control study found one in 10 veterinarians suffered severe psychological distress and more than one in six considered suicide. Concurrently, a 2014 American Veterinary Medical Association study found one in five veterinarians to either be a victim or work with someone who has been a victim of cyberbullying in the workplace. Easy access to public platforms for airing grievances, like social media and online review sites, make it difficult to separate the truth from an angry rant. These sites enable dissatisfied clients to continue to personally and professionally attack veterinary professionals long after doors are closed for the day.

Even more alarming, a 2017 Merck Animal Health study showed only 50% of veterinarians with mental illness were receiving treatment. Younger veterinarians, an increasing population in the profession, experienced higher distress levels (8.7% at ages 18-34 and 9.1% at ages 35-44) than older veterinarians (2.8% at ages 55-64 and 0.7% at ages 65 and older).

Merck performed an additional survey and revealed in 2020 that 92% of veterinarians surveyed were very concerned about high stress levels. Of those surveyed, 91% expressed concern regarding student debt and 89% expressed concern regarding suicide in the profession.

No matter the type or severity of stress, the FVMA sees it as our responsibility to help members navigate difficult times. We firmly believe nobody should have to walk through life alone.