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“Heard Vet: Swine Veterinarian Virtual Support Group” Sessions Scheduled

As the COVID-19 pandemic continues, AASV is working to provide public health, animal welfare, and mental health resources to assist our members during this this difficult situation. In addition to the resources found on the AASV Veterinarian Well-being page, we are excited to add another mental health and well-being service for members. Beginning next week: "Heard Vet: AASV Swine Veterinarian Virtual Support Group."

Want to get something off your chest? Need a place to talk to other swine vets? Want to just listen to others? Lend your own ear? Join AASV's confidential virtual support group sessions to share or listen to experiences unique to swine veterinarians. Connect with peers to discuss events associated with the COVID-19 pandemic or other emergency responses. It's ok to come late or leave early!

The AASV is working with Dr. Elizabeth Strand and fellow swine veterinarian peer mentors to offer free virtual support group sessions* for AASV members. Dr. Strand is a licensed clinical social worker, a resiliency coach, and is the Founding Director of Veterinary Social Work at the University of Tennessee (see Dr. Strand's full bio here).

The virtual support group sessions will provide a venue for members to share and discuss their experiences and concerns about the COVID-19 emergency response with their peers. The goal is to provide a safe place for you to talk about your thoughts and feelings related to your unique experiences as a swine veterinarian during this pandemic. Dr. Strand will serve as a mental health coach facilitator to moderate these sessions. She will be joined by fellow swine veterinarian peer mentors to guide discussion and help members navigate to individual care within their state if needed.

This is a place where you can be open and honest with yourself and others. You may both give and receive support. Some participants may be having current challenges, come may not. Anyone who wants to talk and listen to others about how they are doing is welcome. The best social support is having a place where we feel accepted, understood, and respected just as we are.

The first session will be didactic and anonymously interactive. It will have some structure and information alongside the opportunity to share. Come log on and listen and share how you are doing or offer support to others in these times. Participants in the session can see who else is attending, but we'll use technology that will allow you to share experiences or thoughts or ask questions anonymously.


When: Wednesday, May 20, 6:00-7:15pm CST
Who: AASV members
Cost: Free
Register: Email Sue Schulteis at aasv@aasv.org.
Sue (and only Sue) will collect names and verify AASV membership to ensure that only AASV members have access to these sessions. She will send a Zoom link, log in information, and consent form. AASV staff will no longer be involved after the initial e-mail contact for registration unless they want to join a session as an active participant. Consent forms will be collected by Dr. Strand. Sessions will be facilitated and led by Dr. Strand and trained peer mentor swine veterinarians.

To facilitate discussion, registration is limited at 20 participants per session. More sessions will be added as needed to meet demand. Sessions will be offered weekly. Come to one or come to many. Join as needed.

Still have questions? Please read the consent form.

Find more well-being resources on the AASV Well-being webpage.

*This is not a therapy group and is not a substitute for psychiatric care, psychotherapy, or medical treatment.