#121: Weaving a Safety Net: Using Herd Immunity for Veterinary Suicide Prevention. With Dr Kat Williams and Dr Alena Gadoury.

It’s the topic in veterinary science that we wish we didn’t have to talk about. Every time we hear about another veterinary suicide, we feel sad, angry, and frustratingly powerless. But in this conversation with Dr. Kat Williams and Dr. Alena Gadoury, you’ll be inspired to take back the power to act against this curse of our profession.

Drs. Kat and Alena are the founders of VetHerd, an industry-based suicide prevention program for the veterinary profession. VetHerd utilizes the collective power of our community to create a robust safety net to combat the alarming rates of veterinary suicide through collaboration, awareness, and education.

You’ll learn about ‘Mates in Construction,‘ the inspiration for the program, the parallels between ‘herd immunity’ and mental health, why it’s essential for all of us to learn how to talk openly and bravely about suicide, and how to get better at it.

Register for VetHerd’s upcoming two-day ASIST suicide prevention workshop, sponsored by Flynn’s Walk, here, or contact Kat and Alena at kat@vetherd.com.au or alena@vetherd.com.au to find out how you can get involved.


Episode Topics and Timestamps

00:00 Introducing VetHerd: A Vision for Community and Protection

06:19 Drawing Inspiration from Mates in Construction

08:32 Addressing the Mental Health Crisis in the Veterinary Industry

11:51 Exploring the Complex Causes of High Suicide Rates Among Veterinarians

20:44 The ASIST Model: A Framework for Suicide Prevention

28:41 Exploring the Model for Safety Planning

29:22 Community Involvement and Support

29:40 Addressing Responsibility and Training Needs

30:32 Practical Training and Its Importance

32:08 Overcoming the Fear of Discussing Suicide

33:46 The Power of Asking, and Community Support

34:48 Training Opportunities and Industry Support

42:37 Personal Insights and Podcast Recommendations

45:14 Funding Challenges and Industry Contributions

50:36 Final Thoughts and Encouragement



Join our community of Vet Vault Nerds to lift your clinical game and get your groove back with our up-to-date, easy-to-consume clinical episodes at ⁠⁠⁠


Subscribe to our RACE approved clinical continuing education podcasts for the show notes for this episode, a follow up session on managing diabetic dogs with basal insulin, plus hours of diabetes content with veterinary endocrinology guru Prof David Church, and over 450 other episodes in Medicine, Surgery and Emergency and Critical Care. 

Get help with your cases in our ⁠⁠⁠⁠⁠⁠Specialist Support Space.⁠⁠⁠⁠⁠⁠

Connect with us through our online  ⁠⁠⁠⁠⁠⁠⁠⁠⁠⁠⁠⁠⁠⁠⁠Vet Vault Networ⁠⁠⁠⁠⁠⁠⁠⁠k⁠⁠⁠⁠ for episode highlights, clinical resources, discussions, questions and support.

Subscribe to our weekly newsletter  ⁠⁠⁠⁠⁠⁠⁠⁠⁠⁠⁠⁠⁠⁠⁠here⁠⁠⁠⁠⁠⁠ for Hubert’s favourite clinical and non-clinical learnings from the week. 

Join our community of likeminded veterinary professionals for resources, case and industry discussions, connection and more.

Coming soon: Live podcasting, Q&A, practical sessions, and group discussions