Canadian Veterinary Medical Association Expands Mental Health Initiatives by Adding 24/7 Peer-to-Peer Support from Togetherall
February 08 2022
Members of the Canadian Veterinary Medical Association (CVMA), including all Canadian veterinary school students, can now join the Togetherall platform—a powerful mental health support resource available at no cost, anytime and anywhere they have internet connection.
The platform offers the opportunity to improve mental health by providing and receiving support, through a peer-to-peer community supported by integrated services, that are safe, anonymous and supervision by licensed mental health practitioners, who empower members to share their experiences in an inclusive environment.
According to Ontario Veterinary College researchers, approximately two in five Canadian veterinarians has experienced burnout, and one in five has experienced mental illness or suicidal ideation during their career. Recognizing the incredible emotional and physical toll the veterinary profession takes on an individual, the CVMA has established a strong voice to elevate awareness and is committed to ensuring members and students have the education and support they need.
In addition to partnering with Merck Animal Health for It’s Time to Talk About Mental Health in Veterinary Medicine Awareness Week each September, the CVMA offers members a wellness resource toolkit that continually evolves with the changing needs of the veterinary community. The CVMA has been able to advance this mission by offering Togetherall to all Canadian veterinary students and CVMA members, thanks to funding provided by Western Financial.
“Despite the disproportionately high percentage of veterinary professionals who report mental health challenges, many of them are reluctant to discuss their concerns with others and even less likely to adopt self-care strategies or seek professional help,” said Dr. Kathy Keil, Chair of the CVMA Wellness Advisory Group.
“In the Togetherall community, there’s no stigma to reaching out for support because users interact anonymously with each other.”
– Kathy Keil, Chair of the CVMA Wellness Advisory Group
“Our members and students have the reassurance of connecting with others like them, who understand the challenges of the profession as well as shared lived experiences that are just a part of life, whether you are a veterinarian or not. We are excited to empower our members and the next generation of Canadian veterinarians to seek help from their peers with the built-in safety net that Togetherall offers.”
“Western Financial Group is proud to recognize our long-term partnership with the Canadian Veterinary Medical Association, and its members across the country, by sponsoring access to the Togetherall community,” said Grant Ostir, Chief Business Development Officer at Western Financial Group. “As insurance experts, Western Financial recognizes that providing peace of mind and supporting wellness go hand-in-hand.
“Mental health affects everyone in very different and personal ways. Having resources such as Togetherall to share and heal as part of a community – we could not be more pleased to sponsor this important venture.”
– Grant Ostir, Chief Business Development Officer at Western Financial Group
“At Togetherall, we really try to hone in on populations that are more vulnerable to depression, anxiety, stress, isolation, and other mental health challenges,” said Matthew McEvoy, Senior Vice President and General Manager of Togetherall in North America. “The veterinary profession is an incredibly noble one that, consequently, comes with many risks to mental wellness as these service providers face death, illness, sometimes animal abuse or homelessness, long hours, hectic work environments, and more daily. It’s no wonder this community demonstrates higher rates of behavioral health problems. We are proud to help CVMA members and students navigate through the challenges so they can pursue their career passion in a way that contributes to their overall well-being.”
Togetherall is available to more than 30 million people worldwide. In a recent survey of Togetherall members, 93% of member self-report on improvement in their well-being and 70% report feeling less isolated after using the platform.
CVMA members and current Canadian veterinary students can access the service at www.togetherall.com
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Contact us to find out more to learn more about how Togetherall enhances existing counselling resources.