Veterinary wellbeing

Cat on a fence

Veterinary wellbeing

From time to time the pressures of our professional and private lives call for some external assistance to ensure we remain confident, capable and able to deal with whatever opportunities and challenges life throws at us.

Just as veterinarians encourage their clients to seek their help early, the New Zealand Veterinary Association (NZVA) encourages all veterinarians to do the same when it comes to emotional/mental health.

The NZVA has a Veterinary Health and Wellness Group . This group is charged with coordinating the development and delivery of a programme of activities designed to keep veterinarians happy, healthy and loving their work.

Part of this will be retaining and where possible enhancing the NZVA/VCNZ funded counselling service delivered for us by Vitae. NZVA members and non-members can access this confidential counselling service and a 24 hour phone service that’s open seven days a week. This service also includes up to three fully funded (by the scheme) face to face sessions with a trained psychologist.

Confidential counselling service and a 24 hour phone service

If you are a member and would like to find out how to use Vitae’s counselling service, click here. You can also ring the NZVA Wellington Office on 04 471 0484 for a confidential talk with the Head of Veterinary Services.

If you are not a member we encourage you to contact Vitae directly on their 24-hour free-phone service on 0508 664 981, alternatively contact the Veterinary Council of New Zealand.


The New Zealand Veterinary Association provides a mentor scheme for veterinarians who are NZVA members, partnering veterinarians with experienced practitioners who can provide collegial support at any stage of a veterinarian's career.

Find out more about the NZVA Mentor Scheme >>

The Elizabeth Veterinary Benevolent Fund

This fund was established in 1954 to provide financial assistance to NZVA members and their families during difficult times.

Today it also provides other support services for NZVA members, such as:

  • the Veterinary Wellness Programme
  • the Mentor Scheme
  • Prelude to Practice Seminar (for fifth-year vet students)

The fund receives income from donations and legacies, including annual contributions from the NZVA, the Veterinary Council of New Zealand (VCNZ) and the Institute of Veterinary, Animal and Biomedical Sciences (IVABS).

If you'd like to support The Elizabeth Veterinary Benevolent Fund please call us on 04 471 0484 or email