What do you get when you put empathic caregivers known to neglect their own health into a high-stress, demanding profession? The perfect storm.
At this point, we all know wellness is a big issue in the veterinary community. Compassion fatigue, burnout, and suicide are being discussed with increasing frequency, as are their causes: Working long hours, crippling loan debt, and demanding clients, just to name a few. But threats to mental health and overall wellbeing are much more nuanced than we may realize, and so too are their solutions.
As part of Mental Health Awareness Month in May, Mia and Krysten kick off a new series tackling mental health in the veterinary profession. In this episode, our wellness advocates discuss factors that make this field so risky for highly empathic people, why common advice and coping strategies don't always work, and what unique threats they faced in their own professional lives.
Dr. Ken is an associate veterinarian at Tipp City Veterinary Hospital and a Certified Compassion Fatigue Professional.
Dr. Harcha has worked in private practice, emergency medicine, academia, and industry. She is currently a consultant and coach to veterinary professionals.