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Zoetis and Beyond Blue partner to support the mental health of our vets

Zoetis and Beyond Blue continue to support mental health and reduce stigma around mental health in the veterinary industry

An increase in workload and workflow is contributing to burnout, ill health and loss of wellbeing for Australian veterinarians and their nursing staff, according to Dr Natasha Wilks (lead photo), a veterinarian and Beyond Blue volunteer.

Dr Wilks has experienced first-hand the challenges COVID-19 has had on businesses and their teams over the past 14 months and says:
 “the need for mental health support has never been more important.” 
Worryingly, research shows that on average, an Australian vet takes their own life every twelve weeks, four times the rate of the general population.

“There are so many things which weigh on our minds; the long hours, financial struggles, and the difficult situations veterinarians are placed in such as delivering bad news to pet owners, emotional responses from clients unable to afford bills and even violence at the hands of customers,” continues Dr Wilks, who is also a veterinary career coach helping veterinary staff cope with the challenges of the profession and improve their wellbeing.

While other industries might have experienced a decrease in work, vet practices were busier than ever during the pandemic, and continue to be. An increased number of people working from home, pandemic puppy purchases and pet owners spending more time at home with their animals have led to increased clinic visitation.

“While hugely rewarding, the veterinary profession also entails numerous challenges to mental health that necessitate the need for proactive management. Currently, the increase in workload is exceeding capacity all day, every day. 

Vets are exhausted and overwhelmed. It is like running an ultra-marathon. There is currently a huge demand for vets and nursing staff, and with everyone in the practice being so busy, there can be breakdowns in team dynamics,” says Dr Wilks.

Dr Wilks is supporting the partnership between leading Animal Health company Zoetis and Beyond Blue, which is in its sixth year, with an on-demand webinar, Wellbeing for Vet Practices, with practical strategies for maintaining mental wellbeing in practice for vets and clinic staff.

Zoetis, who works closely with vet practices around Australia, supports the mental health challenges faced by the veterinarian industry through its crucial mental health partnership with Beyond Blue

Over the past five years, Zoetis has helped raise $500,000 by donating $5 from products sold during the campaign period. In 2021, Zoetis aims to once again reach its $100,000 fundraising target by the end of the year.
“Zoetis is proud to once again be supporting Beyond Blue and the important work they do” 
says Lance Williams, Zoetis Senior Vice President and Cluster Lead, Australia and New Zealand. “We knew that supporting vet mental health was critical when we first embarked on this support campaign, but we didn’t know then just how important the partnership would be. Together we have made strong progress in supporting the mental health and wellbeing of veterinarians, practice staff and nurses, and we are passionate about helping again this year.”

“All funds raised by Zoetis go towards the Beyond Blue Support Service. To date, Zoetis’ donations across veterinary and rural farming initiatives have allowed over 8,000 people, including vets, to get the help they need through the Beyond Blue Support Service and we are hoping to help more people this year,” he adds.

Beyond Blue CEO Georgie Harman said the Beyond Blue Support Service continued to experience increased demand since the beginning of the COVID-19 pandemic.
“This year has brought its challenges and people have got in touch with us for many reasons. They might be feeling worried, lonely, concerned about their mental health or the mental health of friends and loved ones, finances or job security,” Ms Harman said.

“Whatever the reason, Beyond Blue wants people to know that no problem is too big or small to reach out. Sometimes, just talking to someone can make a difference, and support is always available.

“We are very grateful to have the ongoing support of Zoetis and look forward to working together so our Australian vets can access support. They help so many of us and our animals, now let’s help them,” said Ms Harman.

The Beyond Blue Support Service offers free and immediate counselling, advice and referrals via phone, webchat or email. In addition to the Support Service, Beyond Blue’s online resources can help people take steps towards recovery and feel less alone. 

Beyond Blue’s online forums tap into a peer network that gives people connection and support from others who have been through similar experiences. The forums are safe and welcoming, monitored by a specially trained team.

Beyond Blue’s NewAccess for Small Business Owners is a free and confidential mental health coaching program. Delivered over six telehealth sessions, coaches who themselves have a small business background, help small business owners experiencing stress and worry. Coaches operate with oversight from clinicians and are trained to refer participants to specialist services if required. 

For more information, visit

For more information about depression and anxiety, visit
To talk to a mental health professional for free, contact the 24/7 Beyond Blue Support Service on 1300 22 46 36.

Free web chat is also available from 3pm until midnight at and you can join the forums for free and download the safety planning BeyondNow app from the website.

For more information on how you can help Zoetis to raise vital funds to encourage mental health through its partnership with Beyond Blue please visit

1 Suicide in Australian Veterinarians by Jones-Fairnie, Ferroni, Silburn, Lawrence, Australian Veterinary Journal

MEDIA RELEASE, 12th July 2021

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