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We recognise that a veterinary career can be stressful and demanding at times. It is very important for the NZVA to provide members with wellbeing support.
These pages are full of valuable resources to help you remain healthy and well, as well as providing support to those who are struggling with stress, anxiety or burnout.
How to get help
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.
Free counselling for veterinarians
All veterinarians in New Zealand can get free, confidential counselling (up to three fully funded face-to-face sessions with a trained psychologist) and a 24-hour phone service that’s open seven days a week.
This is offered through Vitae and is funded by the NZVA and the Veterinary Council of New Zealand.
Appointments can be made via the 24-hour free phone service 0508 664 981 or on completion of a self-referral counselling form. Find the counselling form here.
Vitae provide the NZVA with quarterly (confidential) reports. These provide us with a valuable snapshot of current issues, early warning of potential hot spots, and will allow us over time to track trends and highlight workplace health and safety issues that will have a direct impact on veterinarians, such as stress, financial problems and depression.
Mental Health Foundation of New Zealand
Find information on mental health conditions, where to get help, and how to support others. See www.mentalhealth.org.nz.
NZVA members - call us
If you need help call us at the NZVA Wellington Office on 04 471 0484 for a confidential talk with the Head of Veterinary Services.
Rural Health Alliance Aotearoa New Zealand (RHAANZ)
The NZVA is a member of RHAANZ. We work alongside them to provide solutions and influence policy affecting the health and wellbeing of our rural communities.
Mentoring for NZVA members
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, or would like more information please call us on 04 471 0484 or email firstname.lastname@example.org.
Vets wellbeing, resilience and managing in a complex environment
This information booklet published in 2013 provides some useful tips on how to ensure a healthy work/life balance.