Many Elanco employees interact with veterinary clinics where they witness the emotional demands of the profession. Animal care providers can struggle with compassion fatigue, mental health issues and burnout, among other challenges. These individuals are highly trained to give care, but it is also important that we show care for them. One of the tenets of Elanco’s veterinary advocacy effort is that assisting in self-care is an ethical imperative. If animal caregivers fail to take care of themselves, they potentially endanger or lose the ability to care for the animals that depend on them.
According to a survey of U.S. veterinarians by the American Veterinary Medical Association, veterinary professionals are more likely to suffer from psychiatric disorders compared with the general population of U.S. adults. Data suggest that nearly one in 10 U.S. veterinarians might experience serious psychological distress and one in six might have had suicidal thoughts.
While veterinarians and animal care professionals are highly trained to give care, it’s also important they practice the ethical imperative of self-care.
Many Elanco employees are veterinarians who have experienced the emotional demands of the profession. We seek to support our veterinary partners who may struggle with the “cost of caring” for those in need.
We help train veterinarians on leading self-care practices, support them in combating the stressors of the profession and help them embrace the rewards inherent to the job. Elanco promotes well-being in the veterinary profession through:
Across the globe, we sponsor virtual mental health conferences, partner with counselors to offer free sessions, deliver well-being insights through podcasts and offer face-to-face mental health and wellbeing workshops delivered by our staff. Since 2011, Dr. Heidi Hulon has served as a Regional Consulting Veterinarian at Elanco. Her current role as Well-being Consulting Veterinarian supports education on wellbeing topics to our veterinary customers across the country. Subjects in which Dr. Hulon has certifications include: compassion fatigue, positive psychology, QPR Institute suicide-prevention training, the human-animal bond, mental health first aid and FRANK communication training.
We collaborate with many academic institutions to lend expertise, help advance leading practice and support the next generation of veterinarians. Elanco is proud to be the sole sponsor of the American Association of Veterinary Medical Colleges (AAVMC) Leadership Academy, which helps provide leadership development in academic veterinary medicine. This academy is designed for emerging leaders in academia, as a forum for building lasting ties between faculty members at veterinary schools and departments around the world. The forum contains more than 53 member institutions across North America and Europe, with 30 candidates in each class. Seven current veterinary medicine school deans are graduates of the AAVMC leadership academy.
Elanco developed the Power of 10 Leadership Initiative in partnership with the VMAE in 2012 to help recent veterinary graduates develop foundational skills in leadership, communication and business.
We also help increase access to graduate-level training for diverse student populations through Elanco R&D’s Animal Health Fellowship (part of the Elanco Scholars Program). We’re collaborating with Auburn University College of Veterinary Medicine and the Cornell University College of Agriculture and Life Sciences to support an inaugural cohort of scholars who will be selected in 2023. Our intent is for this fellowship to have the following impacts:
Elanco is also a proud sponsor of many Veterinary Business Management Association student groups within veterinary schools.
The content of this brief is informed by the following ESG disclosure standards:
1. Source: AVMA, Mental health study explores U.S. veterinary professionals’ well-being, published March 2015. https://www.avma.org/javma-news/2015-04-01/study-1-6-veterinarians-have-considered-suicide
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