Empowering veterinary mental health

Fostering collective growth for greater community impact.

Veterinarians and their teams do essential work every day, helping animals and people. While the job is rewarding, it can be demanding and stressful at times.

Ensuring the well-being of those in the veterinary industry is crucial, and the NZVA is delighted to be working with First Response Health to develop a bespoke mental health training course for veterinary professionals.

This initiative, generously funded by the Ministry for Primary Industries (MPI) post-Cyclone Gabrielle, highlights the importance of caring for the caregiver and the wellbeing of vets and their teams. It addresses both the aftermath of the cyclone and offers ongoing support, acknowledging the unique challenges faced by the those working in the wider veterinary profession.

This course is available free of charge to all those working in the veterinary industry which includes the wider veterinary teams and is relevant to both people working in a clinical setting as well as those in in non-clinical roles such as MPI and education.


Module 1: Monday 25 March
Module 2: Monday 27 May
Module 3: 22 July


This course comprises of six topics split between three modules:

Module 1: Available from 25 March

Webinar 1: Unlocking the power of psycho-neuro-immunology: A path to optimal wellbeing

  • The concept of Allostatic load
  • Occupational and life stress and immune function
  • Followed by bio-hacks that support to optimise your mental and physical health in the areas of food. Movement, sleep, alcohol, thinking

Webinar 2: Caring for the caregiver: Understanding and managing trauma and anxiety in veterinary practice

  • Address the distinction between stress, anxiety and trauma and understand how this presents in the veterinary profession
  • Have a basic understanding of the neuroscience behind anxiety and trauma, the signs and symptoms to look out for
  • Increase self-awareness and recognise personal triggers
  • Develop some specific tools and strategies for dealing with trauma and anxiety
  • Feel more confident in talking about trauma and anxiety and know where and how to ask for help.

Module 2: Available from 27 May

Webinar 3: Navigating emotional terrain: Understanding depression and grief in veterinary practice

  • Understanding signs/symptoms of depression and grief
  • Learning specific coping strategies for dealing with depression and grief
  • Engaging empathically with clients who are experiencing grief

Webinar 4: Working together: Enhancing workplace relationships and community

  • Understanding your personality as well as personality differences in your team
  • Exploring diversity equity and inclusion
  • The importance of connection/community
  • Ways to foster connection and community in the workplace

Module 3: Available from 22 July

Webinar 5: Nurturing compassion: Effective self-care and communication strategies for veterinary professionals

  • Definition and science behind self-compassion
  • Strategies for cultivating self-compassion
  • The vital role of communication
  • Challenges and common pitfalls in communication
  • Strategies for effective and empathic communication

Webinar 6: Navigating stress, moral injury, and burnout

Psycho-education on stress, moral injury and occupational burnout, followed by a deep dive into these topics along with strategies to navigate them.

About First Response Health

Professional services firms need professional services. First Response Health is a team of specialist psychologists who love to share their wellbeing expertise. They have over 85 years of combined experience across corporate, government and private sectors and love to use their business nous to translate psychological theory into practical solutions that match organisations' needs.

“We help professional services firms by creating meaningful and sustainable psychological change. We are nationally recognised leaders at applying cutting edge psychoneuroimmunology research to sustainably improve wellbeing and performance” – Rajna Bogdanovic, Founder. 


Funded by MPI, this course is free for all NZVA members and all people working within the veterinary industry.


Shannon Leader | Events Manager | shannon.leader@vets.org.nz

Funded by