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Addressing mental “unwellness” Cheat Sheet (DRAFT) by [deleted]

Addressing mental “unwellness”

This is a draft cheat sheet. It is a work in progress and is not finished yet.


The alarming suicide rate of veteri­narians is an unexpected wake-up call. We need to act. With so much in common, our profes­sions can learn from one another, and we suggest ten strategies to address “unwel­lness”:


1. Label our high rates of suicide, mental disorders, burnout, and xenophobia a national mental health care crisis and find the best ways to commun­icate this to the public and politi­cians.
2. Normalize self-d­isc­losure of our own emotional problems; and convey as much compas­sion, valida­tion, and mercy to one another as we do to our patients.
3. Expand psychiatry beyond integrated medicine into integrated veterinary medicine.
4. Consider the use of safe, accurate, and effective screening tools for suicid­ality, depres­sion, trauma, burnout, racism, and resili­ence.
5. Help develop resear­ch-­based interv­entions for conditions that may be less severe than DSM disorders.
6. Develop psycho­log­ically engaging commun­ities via preven­tion, treatm­ents, mainte­nance, self-a­ctu­ali­zation, community actual­iza­tion, and disaster planning.
7. Include veterinary medicine with all the medical specia­lties in the National Academy of Medicine coalition that is working on wellness and burnout and, in turn, have psychiatry included in joint endeavors like the One Health Initia­tive, which is devoted to the well-being of people, animals, plants, and the enviro­nment.
8. Learn from emergency medicine that these problems will not be solved quickly but need an ongoing commit­ment.
9. Pull together confer­ences, books, small retreats, and related projects that include all healing profes­sions and physician specia­lties, mental health care profes­sio­nals, nurses, dentists, veteri­nar­ians, and other allied health caregi­vers.
10. Be active politi­cally to advocate for leadership that embraces the mental health of mankind as its business.